Saturday , October 16 2021

The body of kidnapped soldier Shakir Manzoor Wagay of Shopian found after a year, the family says

A body of a kidnapped soldier from J & K's Shopian found after a year, the family says

Rifle Shakir Manzoor disappeared from Kulgam to J&K, where his burned car was recovered (Archive)


A decomposed body found this morning in a K&G village of J&K has been claimed as that of rifleman Shakir Manzoor, an army soldier who has been missing since August 2 last year, when he was abducted, tortured and killed by Shopian district terrorists.

Shakir Manzoor’s father, Manzoor Ahmed Wagay, told NDTV “I identified the body … it’s my son. I identified it from his feet … his hair and also a bracelet he was wearing.”

Police, however, said forensic procedures, including a DNA test, were needed to confirm that the body is that of Shakir Manzoor.

The body was found by locals who reported to police.

The news of the body was also spread to Manzoor Ahmed Wagay, 56, for whom the year has been a painful search to find his son.

It was Mr. Wagay who found his son’s blood-soaked clothes days after his abduction.

For the past year, he would leave home with shovels and spades every day and return empty-handed, and the family has said the government did not help find Shakir Manzoor.

They did not even receive financial compensation.

According to official records, Manzoor has been missing since last year, not dead. This means that his family was not entitled to his salary or any compensation.

The family said they had been asked if Manzoor had joined a terrorist group.

Wagay believes his son was tortured by the kidnappers because they wanted him to make that statement, which he rejected.

Months later, police said the terrorist who claimed to have killed Shakir Manzoor died in an encounter and did not know where the soldier’s body had been dumped.

Shakir Manzoor had returned home to celebrate Eid with his family.

He disappeared as he returned to his camp. The next day, police found his car burned and, a few days later, his blood-soaked clothes were found in an apple orchard.

Subsequently, an audio clip appeared with terrorists claiming responsibility. They spoke of denying their family the body of their son in retaliation for a government policy of not handing over bodies of local militants to their families.

Since March 2020 last year, even the bodies of civilians killed in actions of the security forces have not been handed over to their families due to the COVID-19 protocols.

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