Army tells local Tehsildar: ‘He’s not in our custody’; police says investigation going on
Srinagar: With no whereabouts of missing youth from Lolab on fifth consecutive day, people on Monday started searches on their own by deputing teams to nearby forests in the Kupwara district of north Kashmir.
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. While Nasrullah was released to be immediately hospitalized for the beating, whereabouts of Manzoor remain unknown hitherto.
Reports reaching news agency Global News Service (GNS) said 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.
Meanwhile, in a related development, a local Tehsildar (local executive magistrate) along with a DSP, stationed in Trumukh ever since the youth went missing, visited local army unit and met its Commanding Officer. “The army officer told the Tehsildar that he (Manzoor) is not in army’s custody,” a local said after the Tehsildar and the DSP returned. The Tehsildar could not be contacted for the comment.
Superintendent of Police told GNS that police was investigating the matter and “we will share all details as and when the missing person is traced.”
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 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.
Reports said that Abdul Haq Khan also remains stationed in the area and continues meetings with officials on means and ways to find out the youth. (GNS)