By Shafat Mir
Chicharpora (Anantnag): This is probably the only case of suspected enforced custodial disappearance which could not be investigated because the family of the disappeared person could not pay a bribe of Rs 1 lakh a police officer had allegedly asked for registering the complaint.
Ali Mohammad Dar, a resident of Chichapora, Anantnag, said that his son Nazir Ahmad Dar (in his early twenties then) left for work one day (he doesn’t remember the date or the month) in 1995. Nazir worked at a baker’s shop a few kilometres away at Monghal, Anantnag.
The family came to know about his disappearance 10 days later.
“He used to leave before dawn everyday to reach the shop, where he was working as a helper with a local baker and return by evening. This was his routine. But sometimes he would stay with his employer for a couple of days when workload was high,” Dar said.
And when Dar went to Sadder Police station, Anantnag, for registering the missing complaint, he experienced a double whammy.
“The SHO asked me Rs 1 lakh for filing an FIR. I had no money and couldn’t arrange the huge sum either,” he said. There is no FIR in this case. Over the years, Dar has forgotten the date of the disappearance of his son.
A photograph of Nazir Ahmed with a passport-size picture of his daughter, who was one-month-old when he went missing, inset is the only ‘documentary proof’ of his existence.
After Nazir disappeared, Dar said, army had been visiting his home for at least a week and ask him about his whereabouts.
“I would tell them if you know where he is then kindly let me know. They would tell me that they suspected Nazir might have joined the militants but he was a calm and shy boy and he could never muster courage to do that,” Dar said.
“We went to several army camps in Anantnag and Srinagar looking for Nazir. My cousin was working with Indo Tibetan Border Police as a guard and even he used his sources but we found no clue of him.”
The family had vainly searched for Nazir in Solan, Punjab, following a rumour that he had been spotted working with Kashmiri labourers there.