Family of missing Kupwara man being threatened by army

SRINAGAR: The family of one of the three persons who went missing after they were taken away by an army soldier in November 2015 has said that they are being threatened for going to court against the army.
“We filed a case against the army in the High Court. Now we are getting threats asking us to shelve the case,” said Javaid Ahmad, a relative of the missing person, while talking to reporters here on Tuesday.
On November 17 last year, Ali Mohammad Sheikh of Trehgam, Ghulam Jeelani Khatana and Mir Hussain Khatana of Dardpora village of Kupwara were allegedly abducted by an army soldier, Manzoor Ahmad Khawaja, posted with the Territorial Army at Trehgam camp. According to the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society, a group that documents human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir, the trio disappeared at a time when almost 25 villages were put under army siege for almost a month to flush out a group of three militants.
Ghulam Jeelani Khatana, according to his relative Javaid Ahmad, was taken away by the army soldier from his home. Since then, his family has had no information of his whereabouts.
Before he disappeared, Ghulam Jeelani worked as a porter in the same army unit for a pay of Rs 13,000 a month. He was never paid that salary, Javaid Ahmad said.
“Jeelani’s wife met the CO (commanding officer) of the army’s Trehgam camp to complain of her husband’s disappearance. The officer issued the family a cheque of Rs 20,000 a month for five consecutive months. That money also stopped. The officer said he could not continue to pay the money because he did not receive the same from higher-ups,” Javaid Ahmad told reporters.
Javaid Ahmad said the family has kept facsimile copies of all the cheques they received as a proof.
Ghulam Jeelani, Javaid said, has ten children, two of whom are blind. After his disappearance, Jeelani’s 14-year-old son left his studies to earn the family bread.
Javaid said that the army soldier, Manzoor Ahmad, now visits the family to threaten them to withdraw the case.
“In one instance, Jeelani’s 14-year-old son received a call from an unknown person who told him to meet him, or else he would have to face dire consequences. We went to the police to register a complaint, but they refused,” Javaid Ahmad said.