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J&K: Body of Disappeared Youth Abdul Rashid Dar Recovered From Kupwara Forest

Anees Zargar |
34-year-old Dar was picked up by the Indian Army's Rashtriya Rifles (RR) during a raid on December 15.

Srinagar: More than two months after the family of Abdul Rashid Dar alleged that he went missing from the custody of the Indian Army in North Kashmir's Kupwara district, the authorities handed over the youth's body to his family on Wednesday.

The Kupwara police said it recovered Dar's body in a decomposed state from the nearby Zurhama-PK Galli Forest. After a team of doctors completed the medicolegal formalities at the district hospital in Kupwara, the body was handed over to the family members for last rites.

The police, in a statement, said they would continue to investigate the matter.

34-year-old Dar was picked up by the Indian Army's Rashtriya Rifles (RR) during a raid on December 15.

The army later informed the family that Dar had escaped their custody, a claim not accepted by the family. The police said that the army detained Dar for questioning concerning a militancy case. But, later on, while revealing information about his hideout, Dar slipped the security forces. This is the army's version.

The family since then held several protests, including in Srinagar, for the return of their kin, who they said, was also suffering from various ailments.

The police officials had told NewsClick that they were considering it a missing person case and immediately launched an investigation into the matter.

After Dar's body reached his residence, hundreds of locals, including his neighbours and relatives, gathered to attend his funeral prayers.

The mourners carrying Dar's Coffin raised slogans demanding "justice" for the victim amidst cries and shouted Takbeer – Allah hu Akbar. They also raised slogans like Tum Kitne Rashid Maaroge, Har Ghar Se Rashid Niklega (How many Rashid will you kill, A new Rashid will rise from every home).

Many social and political activists have called for a thorough investigation into the incident and urged the administration to bring out the truth.

"The young Abdul Rashid Dar from Kunan Poshpora reaches home, army had earlier claimed he went missing from their custody on December 15, 2022. One more Kashmiri is dead. One more family mourns, and the government claims all is well. "WE WANT JUSTICE" Allah Marhoom ko Jannat mei jagah deh," National Conference's Sarah Shah tweeted.

Bharatiya Janata Party's Kupwara district vice-president Javid Qureshi issued a video statement about the incident. He urged the Lt Governor of J&K Union territory and the district administration to act against the perpetrators behind the incident.

"Today, a mother's lap has yet again become empty, and the administration should investigate why this has happened. They should also support the family and bring justice to the victim," Qureshi said.


People’s Democratic Party leader Mehbooba Mufti wrote on Twitter: "Extremely disturbed to see pictures of the mutilated body of Abdul Rashid from Kunan Poshpora. Wasn't allowed to visit the family under the pretext of security. What transpired after the Army picked him up for questioning months ago is anybody's guess." 

The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister said "in the absence of any accountability such incidents have been normalised after 2019”, adding that "probes & inquiries fail to nail culprits & deliver justice.

Mufti added that "a genuine probe" needs to be ordered into the incident.

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