27 years of ‘Enforced Disappearance’: Kashmir family awaits the return of Siraj

CNS reports from Indian occupied Kashmir

‘Picked up by Indian BSF on Jan 22, 1992’

A Nowhatta family from old Srinagar city still awaits the return of Sirajuddin Farooqi, the father of sibling who according to them was picked up by Indian Border Security Forces on 22 January 1992 during a nocturnal raid and since then they have failed to track down his whereabouts.

“It has been 27 years of enforced disappearance now and we are still waiting for his return. We don’t know whether he is alive or dead but we can’t presume him dead till we find his body,” the family members of Sirajuddin Farooqi told news agency CNS.

Sirajuddin Farooqi, a resident of Safakadal Srinagar was the brother-in-law of militant commander Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar. According to his family members, they had invited him for a ceremonial dinner at their Nowhatta residence.

“On that fateful day in January 22, 1992, a contingent of Indian Border Security Forces personnel from 22 Battalion cordoned off our house and dragged Siraj and Fayaz Ahmed Zargar from the house and bundled them in an armoured vehicle,” the family members said.

They said that after 3 months, BSF men released Fayaz on Chowkibal border in Kupwara district. “They released him in the middle of the night blind folded and it were the locals of Chowkibal that brought him home safely.”

“Siraj was not fortunate like Fayaz. He disappeared and we don’t know whether he is alive or dead. We wandered from pillar to post and even registered an FIR against the 22 Battalion BSF at Police Station Nowhatta. We were offered government job and monetary assistance that we declined. We need to know about his fate. If they (BSF) have killed him, they should tell us where he has been buried,” the family members said. (CNS)