When the dead came alive

Shujaat Bukhari

Relatives had even performed his last rites

KRUSAN (KUPWARA): A 30-year-old man, Reyaz Ahmad belonging to a village in Kupwara district, who was believed by his family to be dead, was actually found to be alive in Agra jail.

Mr. Reyaz Ahmad's family had even performed the obsequies believing that he was dead. But after their neighbour's visit to Aligarh last month, they had to reconcile with the fact that he was alive.


He was arrested from his garment shop in Kupwara town on August 28, 2000 by a security forces party. As the family members rushed to the security camp to see their son, they were asked to wait for two days before being allowed a glimpse of Reyaz.

As for reason behind his arrest, there was none except that he was a suspect.

When the family did not know the whereabouts of Mr. Reyaz till 2004, the family performed the religious rites assuming that he had been killed during interrogation and body buried somewhere.


As the family seemed to have settled down presuming Reyaz dead, a relative happened to visit Aligarh only to come back with a surprise that delighted the family. The relative, Ghulam Nabi Tantray, met a former inmate of Agra Jail who told him that he knew a Kashmiri boy in jail who has been branded as a foreigner.

"He told me that he knew one Reyaz Ahmad, who says that he is a Kashmiri but has been detained for being a Sudanese, who infiltrated into Kashmir," said Mr. Ghulam Nabi.


But Mr.Tantray's request for a meeting with Mr.Reyaz was turned down by jail authorities claiming that the inmate had no brother by the name Ghulam Nabi.

As Mr. Ghulam Nabi returned with the news, there was delight as well as a sense of guilt among the family members, Mr. Reyaz's brother, Bashir Ahmad Tantray told The Hindu .

However, the family gathered strength and rushed to Agra where the jail authorities denied them access to Reyaz once more.

"This time they wanted clearance from security agencies," said Mr. Bashir.