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Kupwara: Arrested Army man admits meeting villagers before they went missing

''The Army man admitted he met the three villagers but he also told the interrogators that he has no information on what might have happened to the villagers after they left his place,'' a senior police officer said.

Written by Mir Ehsan | Srinagar | December 14, 2015 8:50:07 pm

An Army man arrested in the mysterious disappearance case of three villagers in North Kashmir’s Kupwara district admitted that he met the trio before they had gone missing.

Manzoor Ahmad, during his interrogation, told the officials that he met all the three villagers before they disappeared from their villages.

”The Army man admitted he met the three villagers but he also told the interrogators that he has no information on what might have happened to the villagers after they left his place,” a senior police officer said.

The Chief Prosecuting Officer on Monday sought more time from the Judicial Magistrate Kupwara for interrogation of the Army man.

Last week, J&K police detained a Territorial Army soldier from Dardpora Kupwara after three families had lodged a complaint against him saying that they fear that their kin might have been killed in a staged encounter like the 2010 Machil case.

Police has already shown the photographs of four militants killed in the Kupwara encounters after November 15 to the relatives of missing persons. They however denied that their family members bared any resemblance to the photographs of the militants.

Saleema Begum, wife of Mir Hussain, said that her husband left along with Manzoor Ahmad on November 17. ‘

“My husband told me that he will be home by evening. And when I called his number in the afternoon, the phone was switched off; since then there has been no word from him,” Saleema said, adding that she fears for the life of her husband.

”If any thing happens to my husband who will look after my six children,” she said.

Sources said that the police are looking at two possibilities: it could be a repeat of the 2010 Machil fake encounter case or that they may have been sent across the LoC.

Earlier, three families of Kralpora and Dardpora had filed a petition in the Judicial Magistrate court Kupwara in which they had said that the whereabouts of Ghulam Jeelani Khatana, Mir Hussain and Ali Hussain are not known from November 17. The relatives of the missing villagers said that they were last seen with Manzoor Ahmad of Dardpora village, who is working with 160 TA battalion of army stationed in Kupwara.

The relatives alleged that they fear for the lives of their missing kin and sought the arrest of Manzoor Ahmad. After hearing the case, court asked the police to speed up its investigation and present Manzoor in the court on the next hearing fixed for Friday.

On November 28, the family members of missing persons had lodged a missing report at Trehgam police station. The family members told the police that Manzoor Ahmad was in constant touch with the missing villagers and had promised them jobs as porters in the army.

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