On evening of February 18 this year, a 17-year old Aadil Rehman, a Class 11 student of North Kashmir’s Baramulla town stepped outside his home to offer Isha prayers. Four months later, he is yet to step back home.
In Azad Gunj locality of Baramulla town, one residence housing distressing parents of Aadil and his two siblings, is under silent mourning.
“My brother used to study in a prestigious boarding school – JNV – in Baramulla,” says Nasir, Aadil’s elder brother, an M-tech student. “In February this year, he came home for a couple of days on vacations. But on the fateful day, he left home for late evening prayers, and didn’t return.”
Though the family immediately started searching Aadil, but to their woes, he was nowhere to be found. “For the next few weeks, we approached many top officials including police, but nothing helped,” Nasir says.
Shocked over the baffling disappearance of her son, Tasleema Banu, Aadil’s mother has been turned into a wretched one. “Every knock at the door makes me feel, it is Aadil,” says the mother in a mournful voice. “I want nothing more than my son.”
Abdul Rehman, Aadil’s father, who is in his mid-fifties, seems detached by the grim conversion and aptly raises a question, “Is it for this day that we raise our sons?”
Nasir, the brother, says police aren’t taking the investigation seriously, which is only making the family feel more “traumatised”.
But SHO Baramulla, Ayaz Geelani says the boy’s disappearance has put police on toes since February. “We are doing our best to trace the boy,” says SHO Geelani. “Though we haven’t got any vital clue in this case yet, but we are hopeful to break the deadlock soon.”
Interestingly, exactly four months after Aadil’s disappearance, three of his classmates—Khalid Aziz of Sheeri, Furkan Khurshid of Zogyor and Umar Guroo of Badami Bagh Sopore—were reported missing shortly after offering morning prayers in a local Masjid on June 17.
The police immediately filed an Fir No. 48/2015 under Section 363 in this case and deputed a team headed by SHO Boniyar Tariq Ahmad to trace the boys.
Such was the swiftness of the police that the boys were found a day later at Jammu Railway Station and were brought back to school. Though the school remained tight-lipped about what motivated the boys to run, but SHO Boniyar says, “the boys simply ran as they wanted to roam around.” He dismissed the link between the Aadil’s episode with the “adventurous fleeing” of his mates.
But Nasir, left grief-stricken by his brother’s disappearance, says, “Once I heard about the missing episode of Aadil’s mates, I try to talk to them, but I was barred by police.”
Meanwhile, as suspense over the mysterious disappearance of Baramulla boy continues, his mother says, “He can’t leave me like this.” And with, a fresh mourning begins inside this disturbing house of Azad Ganj, Baramulla.