Another mother dies waiting for her son

Oct 25th, 2013 | Category: Articles

Another mother dies waiting for her sonAnother Kashmir mother has died waiting for her son. Hussina Begum’s wish and struggle to see her son Syed Anwar Shah ended five days ago. Anwar was picked up and subject to enforced disappearance by government forces in July, 2000, in Jammu and Kashmir’s summer capital, Srinagar.

The family had migrated to Srinagar from north Kashmir’s Handwor in search of job and livelihood during early 1990s. Hussina husband, Syed Zaman Shah, worked as a private guard at several places before passing away in 1992.

After Zaman’s death, the family did not return to their village. Instead her two sons started working in Srinagar.

Anwar, her younger son, initially started working as auto rickshaw driver and later worked as a painter.  He got married in the year 1998 and fathered a girl a year later.

On July 21, 2000, Anwar left for work from his rented residence at Fateh Kadal, Srinagar but never returned.

“The family had lodged a missing report in Police Station Fateh Kadal. Besides, the family also filed a case in the court and pursued it with the state, however, nothing has come their way,” says Parveena Ahangar, who heads the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons.

The family was initially told that Anwar was lodged in a Jammu jail however they could not trace him.

Since last 13 years, Hussina and her family: her handicapped son and Anwar’s half-widow and her daughter, had been struggling to know his whereabouts.

“While his family was making all out efforts to know his whereabouts, a piece of land belonging to the family, their only asset, at their ancestral village at Vilgam was encroached and grabbed by some of the influential people in the village, rendering the family homeless,” Ahangar said.

The family lives in a rented accommodation in Srinagar. Ahangar said: we have pledged to take her struggle to its logical end.

Anwar’s wife, Naseema, said, “I don’t know what to do as my sole guide (mother-in-law) left me all-alone to fight this cruel world.”

She said her 8-year-old daughter Shazia is completely shattered as “after waiting for her father’s return her only grandmother left to heavenly abode”. “I believe my husband is alive and he is in forces’ custody. I tried a lot to convince myself that he (Anwar) is no more but am unable to agree upon,” Naseema said.

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