Srinagar: A video of two youth from north Kashmir’s Bandipora district, who had been missing since 2018, has surfaced on social media showing the two in police custody in Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK).
Feroz Ahmad Lone, 29, son of Abdul Rahim Lone and Noor Mohammad Wani, 24, son of Late Muhammad Mushtaq Wani, both residents of Achoora village in Gurez, had gone missing in November 2018 following which Feroz’s family had filed a missing report at the local police station in Gurez.
For the next nearly 19 months, the families had no clue about the missing youth until Friday evening when the video showing Feroz and his acquaintance in police custody in Gilgit, PaK, surfaced on social media.
Zahoor Ahmad Lone, elder brother of Feroz confirmed to The Kashmir Monitor that the persons in the viral video are his brother Feroz and his acquaintance and another local resident Noor Mohammad Wani.
A local from Gurez, who knew Feroz, also corroborated the identity with that of the person claiming to be Feroz in the video.
He said that Wani’s parents had died when he was a toddler and had been brought up by his uncle since then.
In the video, a local police officer, who reports identify as SSP Gilgit Mirza Hassan, claims the two had been “compelled” to cross the border “and work as “spies” for India in Pakistan.
“Soon after they crossed the LoC, they were arrested by Pakistani security forces,” the officer says in the video not mentioning exactly when and where the two were detained.
In the video, a blindfolded Feroz says he was working as a labourer in “Brigade camp” Gurez after completing his B.A in 2011.
“In 2014, Noor Mohammad and I met Rouf, who was friends with some Indian officers, in Markoot Gurez. After a few meetings, Rouf introduced us to these officers who compelled us to cross the border and work for them as spies in lieu of money. They threatened us that if we refused they would kill us and our families,” Feroz alleges in the video.
His statement is followed by a similar one by Noor Mohammad, who too is blindfolded. The duo look visibly shaken appealing to Pakistan and United Nations to set them free and “save their families.”
The Kashmir Monitor called the local police station in Gurez multiple times but the person on the other end said the officer in-charge wasn’t available to talk.
Back in December 2018, the family of Feroz had even urged general public in Kashmir to contact them in case they had any information about the missing youth.
The video in which the two are shown arrested by police in PaK has been uploaded on “Gilgit TV” page on Facebook and a YouTube channel by the same name on Friday, as confirmed by the time stamps.
It does seem a fresh video as the cops around the two are wearing masks.
The Kashmir Monitor couldn’t confirm whether the orphan youth Noor Mohammad Wani’s uncle had filed a separate complaint as no one from the family could be contacted.