He was from Kashmir, killed and his body was found after one Year four months! This is all about abduction and killing yet again by the terrorists!
‘Insurgencies always reach the depths of horror because of idiots who perpetuate terror from generation to generation under the pretext of vengeance and thus end up killing their own brothers and keep ranting the stupid words that they are on a mission without realizing that they are being used by someone as a wasted material which is born to buried under the soil never to be remembered. But those who these men with minds clouded by demons kill are remembered forever. Rifleman Shakir is one who will be remembered for ages to come because the men who gave him death never gave him a chance to hit back. Had they given him the winner would have been only one and that had to be Shakir all the way, but still he would remain one even after his death’!
‘But what the parents had to say was something like this, the effects of loss are acute, and unique to each individual. Not everyone mourns in the same way, but everyone mourns. Everyone was moist eyed as the ever smiling soldier’s corpse was found abandoned under a tarpaulin!’ ‘Every star in the universe represents the soul of a soldier who gave his life for the life you live today. But when would this be understood by a few people who only love to watch the falling stars in Kashmir?
This is the story of a soldier by the name of Shakir who on 2 August 2020 disappeared. He was a rifleman with the 162 Battalion of Indian Army’s Territorial Army unit ,He had come home at Reshipora Shopian to celebrate Eid. He was driving back in his car to a nearby army camp where he was posted when he went missing. Perhaps someone, somewhere did not like as to why was the young man was living a decent life while some were house hopping in the middle of the nights, being unwelcome guests and subsequently to be hunted down as they continued to spread messages of violence in a Kashmir that knows bloodshed has thus far yielded nothing and Pakistan continues to remain a devils workshop’!
-‘ Shakir was killed a long time back but by whom is not known but his decomposed body was found. An official statement issued the next day said that Shakir’s burnt car had been found in neighbouring Kulgam district: ‘It is suspected that the soldier has been abducted by (militants).’ His killing makes me remember the one of Aurangzeb, the brave heart from Mendhar. The circumstances were similar and so was the modus operandi and as respects to the man one can only say that many are rather easily able to contemplate the heroism of sacrifice, yet it is the few who are brave enough to move that notion from thought to action. And it is to those of you who made that move that my heart salutes and my soul marvels. Shakir was one such brave man who lived in a place where some men with black hearts, stupid ideas and an absurd mission in mind are hell bent on ruining wonderful places in Kashmir just to prove that they are correct and others wrong!’It’s a profound display of stupidity and nothing else!
` It was on 02 August 2020 that the news came that a TA Battalion soldier was missing from Shopian, abduction by militants was the immediate suspicion since it was not the first case that had happened. I told you above that the methodology was familiar. The soldier had come home to celebrate the festival and it was on Eid his abduction was planned. A typical sly method used by terrorists. Soldiers have been abducted and killed on either festivities or marriages.
His father had said that on that wretched day he had got a call from Shakir in which he said , “he had met a friend on the way and it would take him an hour before he reached home’. Manzoor Ahmad Wagay his father perhaps had got the dreadful instinct that his son was hinting that he had been abducted, It was much later that he came to know that his vehicle was stopped less than a kilometer from his house and some more boys boarded it and thereafter it was all blank as the search for the missing soldier continued and carried on till a decomposed body was found which Manzoor immediately recognized. Though it was decomposed yet we have to back a father’s instinct though scientifically and forensically the Police is on the job to ascertain it!’
-‘Undoubtedly it’s a tragedy in this unending battle between the good and the bad. But this was ugly cowardice on display. What I learned in this tragedy was the eternal lesson of some people going bad and behaving in an insane manner. What did they achieve by abducting Shakir and subsequently killing Shakir. Absolutely nothing. Kashmir remains where it was but a good human was put to death by the most unkindest cut of all. Maybe the ultimate wound is the one that makes the young men in Kashmir realize what sacrifice means? It’s all about bravery because a soldier lives always for the next battle, because he knows that before it arrives impossible changes can occur in his favor. But here his own friends were back stabbing him. Had they given him a chance to have a pitched up face off, there is no doubt that Shakir would have prevailed. Unfortunately that did not happen because it was not destined to be that way!
Who better than the American general George Patton would describe a soldier. I still remember that I was studying in St. Edmunds in Shillong when my dad took me to watch a movie in Dreamland cinema hall and the movie was a biopic on this great American General also known as Patton: Lust for Glory. I still remember the awe inspiring opening sequence where George C Scott who enacted the role of the General says, ‘It is a proud privilege to be a soldier a good soldier with discipline, self-respect, pride in his unit and his country, a high sense of duty and obligation to comrades and to his superiors, and a self confidence born of demonstrated ability.’! I will add a line to it, every lover is a soldier and perhaps at times an eternal romantic who loves playing hide and seek with death. That day surely Shakir was!
I. A bit about Shakir and what happened on that day:
‘He never knew as to what awaited him on the day of Eid. But all he knew was that he wanted to spend some happy moments with his parents and sisters but in this flow of events as the lady known by the name death had already cast a shadow on him because he was the next victim!’
Shakir joined the Territorial Army three years ago and was posted in Srinagar. He had arrived on further posting at Balpora Army camp in Shopian just four days prior to his death.
He left his home at Harmain village of South Kashmir’s Shopian that morning which incidentally was also Sunday but he was destined not to return but his burnt car was later found 16 km away at Neehama in neighboring Kulgam district but he went missing. Had to because he had been killed and body left to get decomposed.
But that day Shakir visited his home and then went to see his two sisters and exchange the Eid greetings. That was the last time he was going to meet them. Thereafter he came back, had the last lunch and then took off to his camp and was never to be seen again!
It was a tragic end to a story of an ever smiling soldier but the same was discovered a few days back. To be heroic is to be courageous enough to die for something; to be inspirational is to be crazy enough to live a little. The former happened but the second one could not have because that day had to be the last for Shariq to live as scripted in his fate! This was destiny at its cruelest best!
II. Shakir’s body recovered after 415 days
‘Shakir, a rifleman with the 162 Battalion of Indian Army’s Territorial Army unit, had come home at Reshipora in Shopian to celebrate Eid with his family last year. He was driving home from where he was intercepted and abducted by militants. Police later recovered his burnt car but despite mounting searches for weeks could not find him. His father and locals tried to seek clues in several villages but could not trace him.’
It was the Police, who found the body under a blue tarpaulin sheet at Mohammadpura village but said that they were trying to corroborate the claim made by his father Manzoor Wagay.
The body has been suspected to be of a 24-year-old territorial army soldier from Shopian who was allegedly killed by militants last August in the year 2020.
Manzoor Wagay his father said he identified the body from his “hair and feet and the thick bracelet he wore that day!.
The villagers found the body under a blue tarpaulin sheet and informed the police about it.
It is not only his father but the entire village that said that it was him that includes his friends and relatives.
It is believed that the militants killed him and did not return the body to the Wagay family in retaliation as the police had a policy of not handing over the corpse of militants killed in encounters because their funeral processions would have attracted local youth to sign up for militancy. There have been instances in the past when local boys would announce joining the militancy on social media. But that phase is now part of history.
His father said that he examined the body and it seemed it was not buried but was hidden. It also seemed that someone had brought the body to the village, which is barely 3 km from Wagay household, but who could it be? No one had any idea about it! No one could have because this sequence happened all of a sudden because had it happened before the body would have been spotted much before.
GOC Victor Force, Commander 2 Sector, CO 34 RR were among those who offered tributes to the soldier Shakir Manzoor at his native place. The ceremony was organized in a local ground.
This was really tragic, horrible and traumatic for the family. 419 days and the missing son is a huge time lapse but that is what we call as fate. But hats off to the father and the family who went through this ordeal where the son was missing, had not reached the unit, there was no news of him and death was a sure fire conclusion though the hope persisted that he may be alive! Even in times of trauma, the family tried to maintain a sense of normality until they no longer could. That, my friends, is called surviving. The family will never become whole again; they are survivors of the wretched experience. They have made it through hell and are still standing? They should be given a different name, the warriors from the family of a soldier Shakir, 162 TA Battalion!