A SHOVEL and a spade in hand, he units out from his two-storeyed home. Relying on what he final heard, he chooses a spot and begins digging.
Manzoor Ahmad Wagay has been digging the earth for the previous eight months now. What he hopes to seek out at some point is his son’s physique — the son who would have been 25 years outdated in just a few days.
On August 2 final 12 months, Territorial Military soldier Rifleman Shakir Manzoor was travelling between the Balpora and Bahibagh military camps in Shopian space. Because it was Eid day, he stopped to have lunch together with his household on the way in which again and left house at 5 pm.
“That’s the final time I noticed him,” says his father, 56.
The final time anybody heard from Shakir was about half-an- hour later, when he referred to as the household and mentioned he had run into some pals and that they need to not fear if his officers referred to as to ask his whereabouts.
“I believe he had been kidnapped already and he simply wished to speak to us one final time,” says Wagay.
Hours later that day, Shakir’s charred automobile was recovered from a discipline within the neighbouring Kulgam district, about 16 km from his village.
About seven days later, his garments had been present in a ditch 3 km from the home. Wagay breaks down as he holds out a pair of beige trousers and a brown shirt lined with dried blood and dust. A chunk of the shirt was discovered contained in the burnt automobile as properly which, the household believes, might have been torn within the scuffle of the kidnapping.
Every week after the killing, an audio clip circulated on social media made unverified claims that “the soldier’s killing and denial of his physique to his household was retribution for the same coverage adopted by J&Okay authorities for militants killed in encounters”.
On the data, Shakir stays lacking. Amritpal Singh, Superintendent of Police (Shopian), says the “case is underneath investigation and efforts are on to hint the physique”.
Wagay is satisfied that his son has been killed. “A girl had seen about 4 males torturing him. Provided that and the blood on his garments, I don’t assume he might have survived,” he says.
Each different day since then, the daddy would hear a couple of sighting from days in the past and take his shovel and head over. At first, native residents would help in his search. However in an space lined with orchards so far as the attention can see, it has been an ordeal.
Shakir was born to Wagay and Ayesha after 4 daughters. He was the one one with a job and helped out the household after becoming a member of the Territorial Military in 2016, though, the household says, he wished to change into a physician.
At the moment, the search has left the household in extreme monetary pressure that has additionally led to Shakir’s youthful brother Shaan (20) dropping out of school in Aligarh. Shaan’s telephone is filled with pictures together with his older brother together with one from final Eid, in the identical garments they later recovered from the ditch. It was Shaan who first raised the alarm after Shakir’s telephone was discovered switched off.
“In some unspecified time in the future, we heard that an arrested militant had instructed authorities that they’d buried him subsequent to a canal. So we employed a JCB machine and began on the lookout for his physique close to each water physique we might see,” Shaan says.
“Police file him as lacking. If the search had been carried out extra totally in these first few hours, possibly we might have discovered his physique, since he was not killed for at the very least the primary three days,” Wagay says.
Of the 4 militants suspected of getting kidnapped him, Wagay says he has visited the households of three to ask them the place his son has been buried. “They simply say that they aren’t concerned,” he says.
The daddy searches for hours each day and returns to a distraught household. He has now widened his search by means of the three districts round his village. “I simply need to have the ability to bury my son. Bas hamein yeh tasalli hogi ki woh sukoon se dafn hain (We are going to at the very least have the satisfaction of figuring out that he’s buried in peace).”
Trying again as soon as extra, he can’t assist however add: “The perfect apple within the orchard is the one which will get pecked by the birds.”