‘Didn’t know he had joined militant ranks’

‘Didn’t know he had joined militant ranks’

SAIFULLAH WENT MISSING ON MARCH 24: FAMILY

KHALID GUL

Ari Parigam (Tral), May 25: Saifullah Rafiq Ahangar, 19, who was killed in an encounter here on Friday, had gone missing on March 24 this year. His father had lodged a missing report at Awantipora police station on April 1.

“My son had recently completed his diploma in civil engineering from SSM College of Engineering at Pattan (in north Kashmir). I had told him to go for higher studies,” said Saifullah’s father, Rafiq Ahmad, a retired government employee. He said on March 24 he left home to have tea but never returned back.

“We approached the police and filed the missing report at Awantipora police station. Though police assured to help us in tracing my son, I started looking for him on my own,” said Ahmad, who is bed-ridden following an accident he met during his search for his son. “I looked for him everywhere. With relatives and friends also, but to no avail,” he said.

He said a few days back when he was looking for his son in Anantnag (Islamabad) town in South Kashmir, he was hit by a vehicle, injuring him grievously.

“I had to undergo a surgery at the SK Institute of Medical Sciences at Soura,” said Ahmad , who has multiple bruises visible on his face and eye.

Ahmad said he was shocked to hear about the killing of his son in an encounter as “he (Saifullah) had never been in any operational list of police.” “The Army and Police visited our house on couple of occasions and assured us to locate him,” he said. He said nobody ever told the family that he had joined the militant ranks.

Saifullah’s elder brother is pursing B Tech while his younger brother, Najmu Saqib, a student of 11th standard, is sitting besides his father with bruises all over his face and nose. “I was beaten up by the Special Task Force (STF) of police and CRPF men when we were carrying the body of Saifullah from police station to home,” said Saqib.

-Greater Kashmir-

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