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J&K: Missing carpenter's body identified

By Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
February 01, 2007 19:16 IST
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Relatives of missing south Kashmir carpenter Abdul Rehman Paddar identified his exhumed body on Thursday afternoon in the presence of a team of forensic experts and state authorities.

Paddar was framed as a foreign militant and killed in a fake encounter by the Special Operations Group of Jammu and Kashmir police in north Kashmir Waskura village on December 9, a day after he went missing from Batmallo area of Srinagar.

A two-member team of the forensic experts from the Central Forensic Laboratory, Chandigarh, accompanied by senior police officers and a magistrate arrived on Thursday afternoon to Bhatmohalla, Sumbal graveyard, 40 km from Srinagar in north Kashmir Baramulla district to carry out the exhumation.

A local gravedigger Manzoor Ahmad exhumed the body of the village carpenter from its grave in the presence of forensic experts, a magistrate and the deputy inspector general of police, central Kashmir range.

65-year-old Gulam Rasool Paddar, father of Abdul Rehman Paddar, identified his son's body and broke into uncontrollable sobs.

"Even a blind father can identify the body of his son," he told the authorities after identifying the body of his son at the graveyard as tears rolled down his cheeks.

"The exhumation was carried out this afternoon. Gulam Rasool Paddar, the father of Abdul Rehman Paddar, identified the body. The post-mortem of the body was performed at the graveyard and samples were collected for DNA mapping etc. Later, the body was handed over to relatives," Farooq Ahmad, deputy inspector general of police central Kashmir range, who is supervising the investigations into Rehman's disappearance and subsequent murder by the SOG told journalists.

Dr Rajiv, a member of the forensic experts team, told reporters who had gathered at the graveyard that the forensic process of DNA mapping would take at least 45 days to complete. "We will then send our report to the state government," he said.

It must be recalled that the state government on Wednesday ordered a judicial probe by a sitting judge of the high court into Paddar's disappearance and other related disappearances in Kashmir.

It is also important to mention that four more first information reports of missing persons are being currently probed into by the investigators to determine the fate of those disappearances.

The body of the carpenter was later handed over to relatives for burial in their ancestral graveyard in Larnoo village of Kokernag in south Kashmir Anantnag district.

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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar