Several uptown markets observe shutdown

Srinagar, Publish Date: Jan 18 2018 11:58PM | Updated Date: Jan 18 2018 11:58PM

A complete shutdown was observed in several uptown areas including Wanabal and Rawalpora on Thursday in remembrance of a chemist, Manzoor Ahmad Dar, who went missing after he was picked up by forces from his house at Rawalpora on 18 January 2002.

Shops and business establishments in Wanabal, Rawalpora, Sanatnagar and adjoining areas remained closed while there was thin vehicular movement. People in these areas have been observing spontaneous shutdown against the chemist’s disappearance for past over a decade. People from different walks of life thronged the chemist’s house to express solidarity with the family. 

Awaiting justice for past 17 years, Dar’s family on Thursday demanded that “criminal proceedings must be initiated against the accused.” 

“Even the special investigation team (SIT) which probed my father’s disappearance case concluded that the he could have died in Army’s custody. Police submitted its report after we decided to offer funeral prayers in absentia, but no further action has been taken in the case,” Dar’s daughter Bilqees told Greater Kashmir.   

“The fight for our justice has not ended. It will go on unless the justice is done," Bilqees said. "We want criminal proceedings must be initiated against Major Malhotra who according to police is accused in disappearance of my father," she added.

On 19 January 2016, funeral prayers in absentia was held for Dar after the family presumed him dead after 15 years of long wait. The event was its first instance in Kashmir when funeral prayers had been held for a person who has disappeared in forces’ custody during the past over two decades of unrest. 

Just after two days after the funeral prayers in absentia for Dar was held, Dar's mother Zeba Begum breathed her last on 20 January 2016. The family had said that she didn't accept the reality that her beloved son is no more. To mention, following massive protests, police station Saddar had filed an FIR under section 364 (abduction) against Army’s 35 Rashtriya Rifles. Subsequently, during investigation, the name of Major Kishore Malhotra surfaced as an accused. On November 26, 2015, the SIT probing the custodial disappearance of Manzoor closed the investigation in the case.

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