After more than a year of his son's appearance, Manzoor Ahmad Wagay received a call mentioning that, "A body covered in tarpaulin has been found in an orchard, and that it is possibly Shakir's". Shakir Manzoor was a rifleman in the Territorial Army Unit of Shopian's Balpora in Jammu and Kashmir. He had disappeared on August 2, 2020, after having Eid lunch at his home. He was reportedly kidnapped by militants while on his way back to the nearest Army camp. The same night, charred remains of his car were found 16 kilometres away from his village in the neighbouring Kulgam district.
Army Declared Him Dead Six Months Later
Manzoor Wagay launched a desperate search for his son. About a week later, the family found Shakir's blood-stained clothes in a ditch, 3 kilometres away from their home. Dilbag Singh, the DGP of J&K Police, said that the police had taken DNA samples for authentication even though the family had identified the body. In December 2020, the Shopian Police had noted the statement of the Commanding Officer of Shakir's Unit, "During the investigation, several persons/suspects were interrogated to unearth the whereabouts of the abductee, but nothing fruitful could be achieved so far." The Chinar Corps of Army presumed the soldier dead six months after he went missing.
Family Identified The Stitched On The Foot Of The Body
The decomposed body was recovered in a tracksuit and an amulet. Manzoor Wagay told The Indian Express, "We are sure that it is Shakir. He had an accident a few years ago and had stitches on his foot. Though the body was decomposed, the doctors at the hospital, where the body was taken, cleaned the foot, and we saw the stitches. Police want to confirm the identity, and the body has been kept in Army custody overnight, but we will bury him tomorrow".
Shakir's younger brother Shaan was studying in Aligarh when the former went missing. He dropped out of education because the family had exhausted all its resources while looking for their elder son.