The decomposed body of Indian Army soldier Shakir Manzoor Wagay, who had gone missing in August last year, was found in Mohammad Pora village of Kulgam district on Wednesday, the Kashmir Wallah reported.

The soldier’s father, Manzoor Ahmad Wagay, has identified the body.

“The police have said they will take samples [for DNA matching] and we can bury him as per our religious rites,” Manzoor Ahmad Wagay told News18.

On August 2, 2020, Shakir Manzoor Wagay (24), a rifleman with the 162 Battalion of Indian Army’s Territorial Army unit, had come home to celebrate Eid in Reshipora village of Shopian district. He went missing the same day while driving back in his car to a nearby army camp.

A statement issued by the Indian Army’s Chinar Corps the next day said that Wagay’s burnt car had been found in neighbouring Kulgam district.

“It is suspected that the soldier has been abducted by terrorists. Search op[eration] in progress,” the statement had said.

Five days after Wagay’s disappearance, his family had found his blood-stained clothes in a nearby orchard.

The case so far

A first information report was filed with the Shopian Police on the day Wagay went missing. The FIR mentioned that that unknown people had kidnapped Wagay with the intent of murder, his family members had told

The soldier’s father had said that at least three people, including his youngest son Shahnawaz Manzoor, told him they had seen Wagay with some unknown men in his car.

“I was returning home on my motorcycle when I saw his car moving towards the other direction. When I called him, he told me to return home,” Shahnawaz Manzoor had said.

The father also said that a few other people had told him that they had seen the car getting intercepted at a desolate spot outside Reshipora.

“Around 3-4 cars and two motorcycles were involved in the abduction,” Manzoor Ahmad Wagay said. “Some of them got into his car and asked him to move. Some of the abductors had followed him in other cars.”

In an update sent to Shakir Manzoor Wagay’s commanding officer in December, Shopian Police had noted: “During the course of investigation, several persons/suspects were interrogated in order to unearth the whereabouts of the abductee but nothing fruitful could be achieved so far.”

The Indian Army’s Chinar Corps had presumed the soldier dead six months after he went missing on August 2, 2020.