Father must be restless in unknown graves of Kashmir: Son of Papa Kishtwari’s victim

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Ghulam Muhammad Lone, notoriously known as Papa Kishtwari was buried in a graveyard in Ajas, north Kashmir’s Bandipora following his death due to cardiac arrest. Meanwhile, a victim of his barbarity in Srinagar still awaits the arrival of the last remains of his father.

Zahoor Ahmed Mir remembers that his father left for Srinagar on June 26, 1996, never to return again. Mr. Zahoor’s father, Ali Mohammad Mir, was murdered by the former Ikhwan gunman back in 1996. Mr. Zahoor claims that Papa Kishtwari had demanded money from his father, a contractor by profession, who had refused the diktat and was subsequently kidnapped and murdered.

Mr. Ali was one of 236 innocent people who were murdered by Kishtwari in his reign of terror, he said. Kishtwari – who had joined militancy spent almost two years in jail in the early nineties joined the counter-insurgency force – Ikhwans as known in the common parlance – after being released. Many attribute him to the downfall of militancy thereafter.

The sudden demise of Kishtwari is bittersweet for Mr. Zahoor, as was evident when he handing out his statement to the press, about his decades-long fight for justice.

Mr. Zahoor feels that justice delayed is justice denied. For now, he is steadfast in bringing Kishtwari’s other associates to justice. “Currently I am under security until all the members of Kisthwari’s gang are held to the task. I am representing 23 cases against him and his associates. His death doesn’t mean my fight is over.”

Among those cases that he is still actively pursuing include Ghulam Rasool Ganai and Khurshid Ahmad Mir, who are behind the bars but a judgment hasn’t been passed on them yet. Read Mr. Zahoor’s full statement below.

The statement comes after the uncertain and untimely natural death of infamous Ikhwan Commander Ghulam Mohammed Lone Alias Papa Kishtiwari, the main accused in the murder case of my beloved father.

I, Zahoor Ahmad Mir, a social activist, has been protesting to put the culprits to gallows, [for] the last 25 years, but unfortunately the main said accused passed due to a heart attack on 05 Nov. 2020.

I want to bring to your notice that it has been a win and also a [loss] for me. I was not able to seek justice the way I wanted. I was not able to avenge my father Shaheed Ali Mohammed Mir, who was killed in cold blood by a heinous criminal of humanity, the infamous Papa Kishtiwari, and his associates. Although with my efforts and with the prayers of relatives of 236 innocent people killed by the same criminals, I was able to gather the evidence and put the person responsible behind bars.

Papa Kishtiwari and his two associates, and partners in crimes, are Ghulam Rasool Ganie (Alias Gulzar Ganie) s/o Subhan Ganie and Khurshid Ahmad Mir s/o Assadullah Mir.

They are still behind bars and I will continue to pursue the case against them.

I am also thankful to my dear friend and a good Advocate Shaheed Syed Baber Qadri, for his tremendous work against the culprits. May Allah [SWT] bless his departed soul, he would have been very happy to see the justice of Allah prevailing. But he was also certain we will find justice under the system, which to date is not served yet despite 99% evidence is with the government regarding the heinous crimes committed by the criminals.

Soon after the sad demise of Advocate Syed Babar Qadri, Papa Kishtiwari had approached for the bail in court, but it was rejected. I would like to thank the 4th Additional Sessions Judge Lower Court Srinagar for their commitment.

My wish is to find the body or remains of my beloved father and put them to rest with all his ancestors in our ancestral graveyard. A grave [is] waiting for his return. I demand strong action against the remaining two criminals already in custody for the last 13 years. I again urge higher authorities of police and government to nab the runaway culprits. And in doing so we should support our police to end such mafia in Kashmir. People should come out of fear and help police to arrest such murderers. I believe in the justice system and will continue to do so.

I have given a recommendation for DNA testing of 2156 unmarked graves in Kashmir where I believe my father must be restless. Hon’ble High Court has accepted and an investigation process is on.

I would like to extend my thanks, gratitude, and well wishes to Kashmir’s mainstream media and social media for helping me to reach out to a common man and their well wishes paved way for strengthening my struggle for justice.

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