Conflict

The curious case of ‘missing’ Feroz: Declared dead by police, resurfaced as a ‘spy’ in Pakistan

Srinagar: A young man working with the rural development department in the Shina speaking valley of Gurez, went missing, on  November 18, 2018. His brother, Zahoor Lone, every day without fail, on social media, and on the streets of Gurez protested about his missing brother.

Zahoor lodged a First Information Report (FIR) in the Gurez police station. The police then traced Zahoor’s brother’s call history.

After investigating every detail, the police found a lead.

A story of a rather complicated love triangle came to fore. The young man, a friend of Zahoor’s brother former lover, was now the main culprit. A few days after, the boy confessed in the Gurez police station of having killed the missing boy, after which he dumped the body in the river stream at Kanzewan.

A police team reached the place to search for the dead body, but nothing was found.

Zahoor says he called the local police station, Bandipora and even the DC’s office but got no response.

Finally, Gurez police station informed him that the case is now in the jurisdiction of Bandipora police and they have updated the new investigating team. However, the person who had confessed about committing the murder was out, and free.

Zahoor says, weeks later, on December 28, 2018, Zahoor’s parents’ house in Achoora was visited by a team of local policemen with a blank paper in their hand.

“Due to threats and constant pressure, my parents were made to sign that blank paper. Till now they are clueless of what might have been written on that paper later. We had no trace of our missing brother,” Zahoor says.

The missing boy’s name was Feroz Lone.

On Friday, Pakistan police, through a press conference, claimed to have caught two ‘Indian Spies’ who were sent to Gilgit. One of the two ‘spies’ was Feroz Lone.

He is seen confessing on the camera that a person named Rouf forced them to cross to the other side as spies.

According to Feroz’s brother, Zahoor, the phone records that were examined back in November 2018 had Rouf’s number as well.

He was at that time working with 175 Battalion of the TA (Territorial Army). He was summoned to the police station back then and he denied knowing Feroz, he was set free.

Approached for comment, Kashmir Inspector General Vijay Kumar said they were looking into the matter. Army sources in Srinagar said they are looking into the matter as well, as per a report in The Print.

Speaking to Free Press Kashmir, SHO of Police Station Gurez denied the family’s allegation of any blank papers being signed and the presence of a confessor.

“We only have a missing report of Feroz Lone dated November 22, 2018. We are looking into the matter,” said Abdul Salam, SHO of Police Station, Gurez.

But while there are neither confirmations, nor denials, about what the story behind the story is the family of Feroz Lone says that they want answers.

“I had never imagined that my brother would ever be in Paksitan. We had believed that he was dead. My parents for two years have been believing that he is dead. I am trying to contact local police stations and higher authorities to see if we can get my brother back. Till now there has been no progress,” says Zahoor Lone, who along with his parents are in a state of shock.

In a video appeal, Abdur Rahim Lone, the father of Feroz, said his son went missing in 2018 and they had even lodged a missing complaint at the concerned police station.

“Yesterday, I came to know that he has been arrested by the Pakistan forces for the charges of spying there and for working for the Indian agencies. I want to say here that my son is not a spy and he should be set free on humanitarian grounds,” said Lone, urging Prime Minister of India Narendera Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan to release his son and other youth on “humanitarian grounds”.

 

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