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I am a cook, never harmed anyone in my life, says father of man abducted by militants in Kashmir

Militants had abducted 11 relatives of policemen or staff at the police quarters on Thursday night.

india Updated: Sep 01, 2018 07:09 IST
Mir Ehsan
Mir Ehsan
Hindustan Times, Midora (Tral)
Kashmir,Police,Abduction
Officials said all the relatives of policemen have been released soon after police released the father of Hizbul Mujahideen operational commander Riyaz Naikoo on Friday afternoon.(HT/Picture for representation)

On Friday evening, in a two-storey cemented house in Tral in south Kashmir, family members of Ghulam Hassan Mir were anxiously waiting for any news about their younger son, Nasir Ahmad, 22, who was abducted by unidentified gunmen on Thursday night soon after he stepped out to offer prayers.

Ahmad, along with 10 relatives of other policemen, were abducted by militants from Pulwama, Shopian and Anantnag districts of south Kashmir. All of those abducted were released on Friday evening.

Ghulam Hassan Mir, who works as a cook in the police training college Manigam in Ganderbal, learned about the abduction of his son from senior police officials on Thursday evening. “I was on duty at the police training school in Manigam when I got news about the abduction of my younger son. I don’t know why my son was kidnapped. I am a cook and have never harmed anyone in my life,” he said, tears flowing.

Mir, who is in mid-50s, says he returned home in the morning. “Had I done something wrong, you would have never found me here. I want my son to return unharmed,’’ he said, while his two older sons, Shabir Ahmad and Mushtaq Ahmad, tried to console him. Nasir has a masters degree in Commerce and had set up a school in his village of Al Furkhan in Tral. The village, surrounded by orchards, is located on the foothills of a mountain range.

“My brother left his home around 8:30 pm for evening prayers to the neighbouring mosque and didn’t return. We thought he must have stayed over somewhere. But after an hour we came to know through social media that he had been abducted,’’ said Shabir, who works at the Public Health Engineering department.

The same night, unidentified gunmen also ransacked the house of a Special Police Officer (SPO), barely 50 yards from the Mir residence. The SPO was not at home. However, army and special operation group of police were in the village till morning. Even on Friday, the army’s bulletproof vehicle was making rounds of the village.

About seven kilometres away, Asif Ahmad Rather was abducted by unknown gunmen from the village of Pinglish on Wednesday night. His father is an officer in the police. “My son is innocent and has not committed any sin. He should be released,’’ his anguished mother said.

Rather is pursuing a bachelors course at the Sher-e -Kashmir University of Agriculture. The university faculty also appealed for his release. Both Nasir and Rather were among those released.

The kidnapping of family members started after the police detained the fathers of three top militant commanders, Riyaz Niakoo, Lateef Tiger and Adil Dar, all from Pulwama district. The relatives of the militants were picked up hours after the killing of four policemen in neighbouring Shopian district in an attack on Wednesday afternoon.

In an act of apparent revenge, the militants started abducting the relatives of the policemen. Naikoo had earlier asked cops and officials to leave their jobs or face action. Police said they only picked up Naikoo Sr for questioning and said they released him and the relatives of the other militants. The relatives of the policemen were released only after this.

First Published: Sep 01, 2018 07:09 IST