Kashmir

Day 6: Searches for missing Lolab youth continue, army says ‘ready to cooperate in probe’

File photo for representational purpose

Srinagar: As searches continued on sixth day for the missing Lolab youth in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district, army on Tuesday said that they too want to know about the whereabouts of the missing youth and are ready to cooperate in enquiry.

Manzoor Ahmad Khan, a close relative of local MLA and minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Abdul Haq Khan, went missing after he along with another youth, Nasrullah Khan, were taken into custody allegedly by army on Thursday night last week. While Nasrullah was released to be immediately hospitalized for the beating, whereabouts of Manzoor remain unknown hitherto.

As already reported by GNS, people made announcement through public address system on Monday morning in Diver area of Lolab and asked people to assemble. They underlined that assurances by local administration proved ‘hoax’ and that police too has “failed” them in providing justice. Subsequently, the locals constituted separate teams and scattered them towards Trumukh and Kakarpati areas to look for Manzoor. The searches continued even today.

Talking to reporters in Handwara, GOC Kilo Force AK Singh said army will help police in its enquiry. “We also want to know where that individual is,” he said and urged to give a chance to enquiry to know about the whereabouts of the youth. He said it is only after enquiry concludes that they will come to know about Manzoor’s location. “But we are completely ready to cooperate with everyone in this regard,” the GOC added.

Army on weekend had ordered an inquiry into the allegations by locals that the youth went missing in army’s custody. “We have initiated an inquiry. The matter is under investigation and action will be taken accordingly,” a defence ministry spokesman had told GNS.

Abdul Haq Khan, the minister, on Saturday also visited Devar Lolab and assured people to trace out the youth in “next two days”. He had asked people to maintain calm and also urged them not to “take law into their hands.” The minister had also assured people that strict action would be taken against the concerned army Major.

Police has already registered separate FIRs following minister’s intervention amid protests by locals in his constituency. (GNS)

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