Sopore: For the two sisters of Mushtaq Ahmad Changa of Sopore town, every day begins with a search for their brother. This has been their routine for the past three years.
In January 2014, Mushtaq, 34, was picked up by men in uniform from his home in Hyder Colony, Arampora Sopore, in Baramulla district, according to his family. His two sisters have since then knocked on every door, from that of the security establishment to that of the local administration, to know his whereabouts, but to no avail.
Even after the death of Mushtaq’s parents during these three years of his absence, his sisters, especially the elder Rafiqa Bano, have not given up hope.
“Many media persons came to write about our missing brother, but no one published the report,” Rafiqa told Kashmir Reader.
Before he went missing, Mushtaq had been arrested several times in the past. He was first arrested in 1999, when he was an undergraduate student. He was released after six days. Then, in 2002, he was arrested and put in jail for one and a half years. In 2010, he was arrested and imprisoned for a year.
“The police never let him live a normal life. He was harassed constantly and finally he disappeared after being picked up from home in 2014,” Rafiqa said.
“Because of the constant harassment by forces, our brother left his profession of medical representative and started helping his parents in farming. But even after that they never left him alone. They arrested him again and again,” Rafiqa said.
Mushtaq’s sisters said their brother had begun driving his own taxi when he got married in June 2013.
“After seven months of his marriage, on 1st January 2014, he was picked up from his home. We went to police station Sopore to inquire about his whereabouts but the police said they had not arrested him. They refused to file a missing report. After protests by our relatives and locals, the police filed an FIR. But as yet nothing has been done to find my brother. We don’t know if he is alive or dead,” Rafiqa said.
In the three years since Mushtaq went missing, both his parents have died. His mother died in a road accident and his father passed away last year, Haleema, the younger sister, told Reader.
After Mushtaq’s arrest, his wife gave birth to a daughter who is almost four years now. Mushtaq’s wife now lives in her father’s house. In Mushtaq’s home, his two sisters live and keep the search going for their brother.
When contacted, the SHO of Sopore police station said that the case is registered under FIR Number 16/2014, in which it has been stated that the missing person was abducted by unidentified gunmen. The case is still under investigation, he said.