Audio clip claims soldier killed, buried
Mystery shrouds the disappearance of the Army soldier, Shakir Manzoor, even as an undated unverified audio surfaced on social media in which a person, suspected to be a militant, claimed to have killed the abducted soldier and not returned the body.
The authenticity of the purported audio message could not be ascertained.
The speaker in the audio, who identified himself as Abu Talhah, said the soldier had ‘met his fate’. “We understand the pain of the soldier’s parents and his relatives. The body was not returned to his family to avoid Covid spread. We did the same thing just like the Indian forces deny bodies of Mujahideen and bury them at unknown places. So, we performed his last rites,” the audio message said.
Rifleman Shakir Manzoor(24), a resident of Rishipora, Shopian, was abducted on August 2 after he left his home. His car was later found torched in the neighbouring Kulgam district.On Friday, his family found his torn clothes with bloodstains at three places in an orchard near his home. His father Manzoor Ahmed later made a passionate appeal to militants to forgive and release him or if they had killed his son, the body should be handed over to the family. While the speaker in the audio does not identify his group, he refers to two slain Hizbul Mujahideen operational commanders Burhan Wani and Riyaz Naikoo, who he said, had been always warning the people who had been helping the Indian forces. “But these people have not mended their ways. And recently we picked up a soldier, Shakir Manzoor, as we had been getting complaints against him for a long time. We were collecting evidence against him for long, and finally abducted him and he met his fate. ..,” the nearly three-minute audio message said. A senior police officer and Defence spokesman Col Rajesh Kalia said they too were verifying the authenticity of the audio tape.