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SOURCE: INDIA TODAY

The family of a local Indian Army soldier, who has been missing for more than three months, said that no one has come to help them find their son. Shakir Manzoor, a 24-year-old rifleman in the Indian Army, was likely abducted by militants while he was returning to celebrate Eid with his family in Kashmir’s Shopian three months ago. His burnt car was fun later in the nearby Kulgam district.

While his family has been looking for him ever since he went missing, the family members said they have “knocked all doors” but nobody has come forward to help them. The family said they should at least know if he is alive or dead.

“We have knocked all doors for help, officials at almost all levels. Nobody is helping us. We don’t even know if he is alive. If he has been killed where is his body, please tell us. Even today I haven’t gotten any report from any police or anyone else on him. We appeal to all that please help us,” said Manzoor Ahmad, father of the missing soldier.

The family said his bloodstained clothes were spotted in an orchard near the house. The police had earlier said that suspected militants have abducted the soldier. They also claimed that they heard he (the missing soldiers) was being taken to another village at that time.

“We have looked everywhere. We heard for five to six days they would take my son in another village. Nobody came to our help,” said Manzoor Ahmad.

Not the first incident

Shakir is not the first local army jawan who has been targeted like this. Militants have earlier abducted and killed several soldiers of the Indian Army in various parts of Kashmir. The issue of local recruits in the army and other security forces being targeted has been a serious cause of concern for several years now.

On April 6 last year, militants shot an army man dead in Warpora, near Sopore area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district. The gunmen fired at Mohammad Rafeeq Yatoo at his home at Warpora. Yatoo, a soldier with the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry (JAKLI), was at home on leave when he was killed.

The militants fired at Yatoo from point-blank range and he suffered critical injuries.

Earlier in March 2019, another Indian Army soldier, who was visiting his residence in Qazipora village in Kashmir’s Budgam, was kidnapped by suspected terrorists from his home. The young soldier belonging to the Jammu & Kashmir Light Infantry Unit (JAK LI) was on leave till the end of March.

In another incident, Indian Army rifleman Aurangzeb was similarly abducted and killed in 2018 while he was on leave and going home for Eid. Aurangzeb’s bullet-riddled body was found later.

On May 2017, a 22-year-old Indian Army Lieutenant Ummer Fayaz was abducted by militants from south Kashmir’s Shopian. His body was found the next day around three kilometres from his house.

Back in August 2017, a 23-year-old Indian Army soldier, Irfan Ahmad Dar, had gone missing and his bullet-ridden body was found in Shopian district.