Srinagar, Sep 6: As searches continued on seventh day for the missing Lolab youth in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district, police Wednesday questioned several people including army porters who are said to have witnessed arrest of the youths by army last week.
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 last week. While Nasrullah was released to be immediately hospitalized for the beating, whereabouts of Manzoor remain unknown hitherto.
As already reported by GNS, 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. The searches continued even today.
Meanwhile, official sources told GNS that the police which is conducting a probe into the entire matter questioned army porters and other locals. Sources said that the army porters and few other locals who work as wood cutters are believed to have witnessed the arrest of the duo by army and that is why they were questioned to get some information about the missing youth.
Sources further that in case the whereabouts of the missing youth are not known, police may change the section of case registered against the army into 201 (Causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender). 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 had told GNS. The army yesterday again assured that it will cooperate in police probe.
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. (GNS)