© 2018 by Altaf Qadri / All rights reserved

MUGHLI - THE LONELY MOTHER

Enforced disappearance is one of the most harrowing consequences of the armed conflict in Kashmir. During the last 18 years of conflict, the Association Of Parents Of Disappeared Persons (APDP), an organisation of the relatives of people who have disappeared after custody, claims more than 10,000 people have been subject to enforced disappearance by state agencies and were mostly picked up by the troops. Of the disappeared persons, between 2000-2005 a majority were married males. Although men have been subject to disappearance largely, but women have been adversely affected because of being related to them as daughters, mothers, sisters and wives.

Mughli – who doesn’t remember her age – is among thousands of Kashmiri women whose young sons were subjected to enforced disappearances in Kashmir. Her only son Nazir Ahmad Teli, a teacher by profession, had left for school in 1991. She never saw him again – she never did - and Mughli became one of the first members of a tragic club of several thousands women whose young sons or husbands have disappeared, majority of them after being picked up by police or security forces. Since then she has been to every single police station or any army camp to trace out her only son. This story of the return of a missing man seems to be just a dream of hope of a desperate mother who too wants her missing son to return alive.

Mughli's nineteen years of search for her only son ended when she breathed her last in the fall of 2009.