‘They all met at Jamia Masjid and said they were returning in a truck’
Shopian: A 16-year-old boy, a nursing student, a truck driver, and an apple farmer, all from villages of Shopian district, have gone missing from Delhi at the same time, midday on November 24. Their family members told Kashmir Reader that since then, their phones are switched off.
This is the second such incident this month after two Kulgam brothers went missing from Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh. However, the brothers were later traced in Delhi.
One of the missing youths is truck driver Dawood, 24, a resident of Chakoora village of Shopian. His brother, Mehraj Ahmad, told Kashmir Reader that Dawood had been driving his own truck for the past three years. He said that Dawood unloaded his truck at Delhi’s Azadpur fruit mandi on November 24 and then called to say that he was going to the market to buy spices. But when the family tried to call him later in the day, his phone was switched off.
“My brother was accompanied to Delhi by a conductor and an apple grower whose boxes he had taken to Delhi,” Mehraj said, adding that the family is apprehensive of what may have happened to Dawood.
The apple grower who went with Dawood to Delhi is also missing, Mehraj said, identifying him as Yawar Ghulam, also a resident of Chakoora village.
Family members of both have lodged missing reports with the local police, Mehraj said. “Police told us that they have taken up the matter with the authorities in Delhi,” he said.
The 16-year-old boy, Arif Bilal, a resident of Sharathpora village, went missing along with his friend, Sumair Ahmad Wani, a resident of Shalatoo village. Family members of Sumair said that was studying nursing at a college in Jalandhar since three years and was about to return home when his friend from Sharathpora met him and they both went to Delhi.
Arif and Sumair left Jalandhar on 23rd evening in a bus and reached Delhi on the morning of 24th, the family members said.
“On 24th November they visited Jamia Masjid in Delhi and we even had a video call conversation. At about noon when I again called, my son’s phone came switched off. And it is still like that,” said Abdul Hameed Shah, father of Sumair.
Shah added that his son and his friend met the truck driver and the apple grower at Jamia Masjid Delhi. “They told me they were coming home in a truck,” he said.
Bilal Ahmed Dar, father of Arif, told Kashmir Reader that they went to Shopian police, who said they had lodged a missing report and had contacted the authorities in Delhi.
“We appeal to the authorities to find our sons for the sake of humanity,” Dar said.
A senior police officer told Kashmir Reader that the police were providing every kind of help to the families. “We have also prepared a police party to accompany the families if they want to visit Delhi. The youths went missing from Delhi and a missing report has been lodged there,” the officer said.
Hundreds of Kashmiri apple growers and traders visit Delhi after the harvesting of their fruit at the onset of winter every year.