Srinagar, January 22, 2016 (PPI-OT): In occupied Kashmir, for the last 14 years, Zeba Begum of Rawalpora had refused to believe that her son, Manzoor Ahmad Dar, who was subjected to custodial disappearance, is dead. On Tuesday, Dar’s family decided to end the long wait for his return and held his funeral prayers in absentia. Unable to accept the reality that her beloved son is no more, octogenarian Zeba Begum breathed her last on Thursday morning. Following her son’s enforced disappearance, she had developed various ailments.
“Since the day funeral prayers in absentia were held for my father, her condition started to deteriorate and later she died,” said Bilqees, granddaughter of Zeba. Manzoor Ahmad Dar, a chemist, was picked up from his home at Rawalpora by Indian troops on the intervening night of January 18/19 in 2002. Following massive protests, Saddar Police Station in Srinagar registered an FIR under section abduction against Army’s 35 Rashtriya Rifles. Subsequently, during investigation, the name of Major Kishore Malhotra (now brigadier) surfaced as an accused.
On November 26 last year, the Special Investigation Team (SIT), probing the custodial disappearance of Manzoor, closed the investigation in the case. It concluded that the victim could have died in custody of Army’s 35 Rashtriya Rifles led by Major Kishore Malhotra after he was abducted from his residence in January 2002 and his body could have been disposed of. On Dar’s disappearance anniversary on January 19, thousands of people had joined the funeral prayers in absentia for him after his family presumed him dead on the basis of information.
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Kashmir Media Service
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