Shabnum’s unending wait for justice sees no end

Two decades have passed but justice seems to be a distant dream for the 48 years old half-widow, Shabnum.

Shabnum, a resident of Housing Colony, Bemina here said her 30 years old husband Abdul Rashid Wani was picked up by the army when he had gone to market to do some local purchases.

“It was 7 July, 1997 when my husband was travelling back from the market with another friend on the two wheeler. It was army’s Gorkha Regiment (GR) that picked him up,” Shabnum told Kashmir Vision.

“First, we were unable to trace him. But after two days we came to know about his whereabouts,” she said.

Shabnum said they quickly approached the army over his disappearance.

“Then, there was a captain of that Regiment whose name was Captain Yadav. We approached him who assured us that he is safe and is in their custody,” she said adding that the army officer assured us that Wani will be released soon.

“Later, I started visiting the place frequently to meet my husband. But the officer threatened me that if I continue to visit the place too often he will kill my husband as well as my entire family,” she added.

However, few days after the incident the army officer told us that Wani has been released from custody.

“But all this proved to be hoax as we were unable to trace him as he did not turn up at the home,” a visibly anxious Shabnum said.

“If he was released then why didn’t he come to home? So, many years have passed, where has he gone?,” she questioned.

Narrating her heart-wrenching ordeal further, she said they took up the matter with the court.

“We filed a case in High Court and later it was shifted to Lower Court. In between that we had a family problem at our home and we couldn’t attend the case seriously. The court ordered for a re-investigation,” Shabnum said.

Shabnum said that she has received Rs 12 lakhs as the compensation from the government.

“They can only give me the money. Can they return my husband,” she said adding that I need justice.

Shabnum is survived by her two sons, Junaid Ahmad Wani and Mohammad Arslan Wani, both are graduates. Junaid works as sumo driver while Arsalan is still jobless.

When asked about the hope for returning of his husband, she said: “If he would have been alive, he would have come definitely. But now every hope is shattered.”

Pertinently, Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) holds a silent protest in Srinagar’s Pratap Park here on every 10th of the month to register their protests against the disappearance of their beloved and to press the government over fulfilment of their demands vis-à-vis tracing the disappeared people.

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