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Mystery behind fake encounter case solved
Mukhtar Ahmed in Srinagar
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February 02, 2007 21:43 IST

The identification of the photograph of Nazir Ahmed Deka by the local grave digger as the person he had buried in the graveyard a year back has solved the mystery of Deka's disappearance.

Ghulam Rasool Bhat, the 45-year-old grave-digger, said he had buried Deka in the grave where exhumation was carried out on Friday.

Deka was gunned down by the special operations group of the Jammu and Kashmir police allegedly as a foreign militant on February 17 last year, a day after he went missing from capital Srinagar.

All that remained of the body of the buried person was the skeleton, but as fate had ordained, a bottle of perfume was also recovered from the clothes that had been buried along with the body of the slain person.

Deka, 35, a perfume vendor from south Kashmir Kokernag village, had disappeared from summer capital Srinagar's civil lines area in February last year. Deka's wife Taslima and his brother Mohammad Abdullah Deka were present when the exhumation was carried out.

"We went everywhere looking for Nazir after his disappearance. Nobody really helped us. Finally, we met Farooq Ahmad Paddar, a police head constable who lived in the adjacent Larnoo village. He said he would help us locate Nazir. We sold some land to meet Farooq's demands. But, finally he refused to say anything about Nazir. He even told us to stop looking for him," Taslima told media persons at Ganderbal on Friday afternoon.

Ironically, Farooq is presently in police custody for the murder of the south Kashmir carpenter, Abdul Rehman Paddar, whose body was exhumed and identified by his father on Thursday.

"I can only pray to Allah to bring the killers of my husband to justice," a teary-eyed Taslima said.

Hundreds of protesters at the graveyard shouted slogans against the SOG and also broke the cordon that had been laid around the graveyard. Police had to fire tear-gas shells and few warning shots to control the mob that took the mortal remains in a procession to the local hospital where other forensic formalities were completed for DNA matching of the slain person.

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