Missing for 14 years, man returns home

by Umar Khurshid

Srinagar: It was not less than any celebration when a man missing for fourteen long years returned his home in Handwara tehsil of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district on Thursday. His relatives and friends formed a beeline in his compound waiting for their turn to meet him.

Identified as Mohammad Ashraf Kasana, son of Hakim-u-din Kasana, a resident of Hamla Pati, Ahgan Rajwar Handwara, went missing in 2004 in Gujrat state, where he was pursuing his graduation. It was in 2004, then 17, Kasana joined Madrasa Madani, Darul Uloom Gujarat for Islamic studies.

For over two years everything was going smoothly and he used to visit his family yearly. But in 2006 he suddenly stopped visiting home and his parents got panicky. His father Hakimuddin reportedly visited his college and tried to locate his son but he could not find any clue and returned home. Apprehensive of any bad incident that might have killed her son, Kasana’s mother developed multiple ailments since he went missing.

A missing report was also filed in Zachildara Police post and there were many attempts by the police as well to trace Kasana.

But it was not less than a miracle when they found their son knocking at the door of his house. “We lost him when he was a kid and now he is a grownup man,” said one of his jubilant relatives from Handwara.

Meanwhile, a concerned police official said that Kasana had come back to Kashmir in 2006, two years after he joined the Madressa. He had reportedly joined the clothing business in Srinagar without informing his family.

“The initial investigations suggest that Kasana had come back to Srinagar and joined a local clothing shop as a salesman,” the officer said, adding that “Kasana’s family had no idea till now where he was.

The officer added that the case is being ascertained by the police and further details will be revealed after the investigations are over.

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