‘We Are Sure They Have Him’: Enforced Disappearances Continue to Haunt Families in Kashmir

From the 1990s to today, hundreds of families have no information about where their loved ones are.

Srinagar: For Kashmiris whose kin have allegedly been subjected to enforced disappearances since the 1990s by the Indian security forces to counter homegrown insurgency, only bitter memories remain.null

“We are sure they have him – dead or alive, we don’t know,” asserts Mohmmad Hussain from Doompora village, in south Kashmir’s Shopian district. His son has been missing for the last five months. Hussain’s last memory of his son is him being taken away by the army.

On November 29, 2019, at around midnight, Hussain’s family heard an unusual knocking on the door. Quickly, the knocking turned into pounding. All family members except Hussain huddled in the room farthest away from the door, shaking with fear and anxiety.

Hussain took measured steps towards the door. As he opened it, a storm of army men brandishing guns rushed in, looking for his son Naseer Ahmad. “They destroyed everything that came in their way; rugs, curtains, furniture, everything,” said Hussain, a farmer.nullMore in Politics :

Fearing that the army might take Naseer away, women in the family started protesting against the unexplained action. In response, the army locked them in a room, the family says. “They jailed us in our own house until they took him away along with everything that could remind us of him – clothes, mobile phones and even his bat,” recounts Naseer’s grandmother.

Hussain says he tried to follow his son, who was being put in an army vehicle parked outside the gate, but he was forced to step back when the army warned him of dire consequences. “My son was shouting, ‘Baba! Baba, don’t let them take me,’” narrates Hussain, his voice cracking.

The next day, when Hussain and a few senior members of the village went to file an FIR at the Keegam police station, they were immediately turned away and told to go to the army camp instead. Hussain did as they said and went to the Shajimarg army camp. “As we reached there, we were asked to come the next day and assured of Naseer’s release.”


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