Dual Pain

Farzana Mumtaz/Rameez Makhdoomi

The painful saga of disappeared persons families in the valley of Kashmir is quite heartrending  and disturbing reality of our society. The families of Muhammad Shafi Rah and Mushtaq Ahmad Rah of Maharjganj Srinagar , who were doing  leather business  in Nepal bear testimony to this grim reality.  Pertinently,  the two brothers shifted to Kathmandu, Nepal in 1995 from Srinagar to earn a living. But fate wrecked miseries on them . On September 5, 2000 the two brothers were arrested by a joint team of police from Nepal and New Delhi never to be seen again. They were enforced to disappearance in custody.

As News Kashmir Team visited the families of victims, the parents of these disappeared brothers are still in shock as if the episode has taken place yesterday. Abdul Ahad Rah, the ailing 80-year-old father of Shafi and Mushtaq in painful tone narrates his woeful story – “ These 17 years have been total nightmare for our family . I have run from pillar to post with no success in finding my sons. I  rushed to Jodhpur jail  when we were told by authorities  here that they are lodged there  , initially the authorities there at Jodhpur jail acknowledged that my  sons were detained in the jail and told us to get documents done from kashmir , but then we went back with documents they said that they were not there . Some CID officials told us at Jodhpur they have been whisked away by the intelligence men from Jodhpur jail. We searched for them even in Tihar jail but could not trace them. Despite long drawn legal battles and virtually begging to the state institutions nothing substantial has come out yet. We were fleeced by lawyers, jail authorities and even at one instance a private channel in Delhi took money to highlight our plight. The relative of late Sheikh Aziz Hurriyat leader told us that he had told them that the both were lodged there in Jodhpur jail . The elder one  was though involved in minor resistance as was case with every second youth in 90s but younger knew nothing about politics. ”

As a matter of fact,  Kathmandu Post, which is the largest selling newspaper in Nepal, published the news about the arrest of Kashmiris in Nepal in 2000. The news item mentioned the names of Mushtaq and Shafi among the 27 arrested. Even the Indian embassy had given the two brothers  letter that they are working in Nepal.

The mother of these disappeared brothers Khadijah Rah states  –  “ These 17 years have inflicted seventeen million stabs on our heart . We did not get justice anywhere . Our pain is immeasurable as we don’t know what happened to our sons . Even a criminal is taken to jail and courts but not disappeared like this .I have not lost hope and think one day I will see the glimpse of my sons. I appeal to Government of India to disclose location of my sons and come clear on where the state agencies took them. ”

Rah family story is saga of million tears waiting for justice .