Family of missing Kashmiri PhD scholar seeks J&K Govt’s help to trace him      

Abid Bashir

Srinagar (NVI): The family members of a 26-year-old Srinagar youth, who was pursuing a doctorate in Kashmir University and went missing during trekking on June 13, staged a peaceful protest here today and appealed to all the security agencies and J&K administration to take concrete steps to trace their son.

Amid slogans of “we want justice”, “no connection with militancy”, the family members of Hilal Ahmed Dar, a resident of Bemina, Srinagar assembled at press colony here for the third time since Dar went missing while trekking at Naranag area of Ganderbal district of Central Kashmir.

“Our son is innocent. He has no militant connection or any other link. We make a fervent appeal to the heads of all security agencies in Kashmir to help trace our son,” Dar’s family members told NVI. “He should be traced and handed over to the family members as soon as possible,” they said.

Hilal’s brother, Yasir, who was also part of the protest, said that he has been trying to get the whereabouts of his brother since past many days. “We have been camping in Naranag. Yesterday, we got news that my brother was killed in an encounter, but that was fake news. The fact is that my brother was part of a six-member group who went for trekking on June 13. Five youth returned and my brother didn’t,” he said.

Yasir said that if any security agency has picked his brother, they should release him for the “sake of humanity.”

Apart from that, Dar’s family members said that the J&K Lieutenant Governor led administration must direct all the security agencies to trace their son on humanitarian grounds. “He is an orphan. His parents died long back and he has been brought up by his uncles. He has no connection with militancy. We urge the government to put in best efforts to trace him out,” they said while holding placards displaying “Our son is innocent, trace him out,” and “our son a scholar, not a militant” slogans.

The family members of the missing scholar have been moving from pillar to post since June 13 but so far there has been no clue of his whereabouts. A police officer said that neither they have not been able to find Hilal, nor is any militancy link coming to fore. “The five other youths who were along with Hilal are also being questioned. They are cooperating with the police and even helped to take police to the exact spot where Hilal was last seen,” the officer said.