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He Won't Be Called a Militant Now: Kashmiri Man Finds Son's Body After a Year

Missing army rifleman's decomposed body was found in Kulgam district after 13 months.

Updated
India
2 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>Missing army rifleman's decomposed body was found in Kulgam district after 13 months.</p></div>
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Bringing an end to 13 months of frantic search by a father in Kashmir, the decomposed body of 24-year-old missing army rifleman was found in Mohammad Pora village of Kulgam district on Wednesday, 22 September.

Shakir Manzoor Wagay, rifleman of 162 Battalion of Territorial Army, went missing on 2 August 2020. What followed was his family's desperate search for him. His father, Manzoor Ahmad Wagay, would often go to different villages, digging up land, in hope of at least finding his son's body. His search ended on the morning of 22 September when he received a call from a local in the neighbouring village.

"We had distributed his photos in and around our village. Some locals in Mohammad Pora village who spotted a body immediately suspected that it was my son, since no other boy of his age had gone missing in the recent past in the area. When we went there, we recognised our son from the height, his jaw and a mark on his feet. All other parts of his body were decomposed."
Manzoor Ahmad Wagay
He Won't Be Called a Militant Now: Kashmiri Man Finds Son's Body After a Year
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Manzoor added, "When his body was sent for medical tests, they confirmed that the age of the person was about 24 years. They asked me since when was my son missing. When I said '13 months', they immediately confirmed that the body was about 13 months old."

'My Son Gave His Blood, in Return We Received Taunts'

Manzoor said he felt "relieved" that at least his son's body was found. He added that whenever he would approach the authorities for help, he would be taunted with suspicion. "They used to say, maybe my son has got involved with militants. My son was in the army. He gave his blood for the country. I received taunts in return."

"The people who dumped his body are not my enemy. They came as angels in disguise for me. At least now, my son won't be called a militant. There is no stain on his reputation."
Manzoor Ahmad Wagay

In an interview to The Quint in April, Wagay had said, “My son joined the army because of his family’s conditions. Now, if he was killed by militants, he should be given the status of a martyr, but the government is not listening to us.”

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Published: 
Edited By :Tejas Harad
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