Chasing Kolkata Defaulter, Sopore Apple Trader Disappears

Police say they used all means to trace Naikoo, but failed.


SOPORE — In 2018, Ghulam Nabi Naikoo, a fruit trader from Sopore, in north Kashmir, sold apples to a Kolkata based firm IGT- Iqbal Gulzar Tiwari. The representative of the firm paid some amount in cash and promised to pay the rest once the goods reach the destination.

Days later the apples reached Kolkata but the representative of IGT vanished.

On 22 September this year, a Shopian trader tipped Naikoo about the Firms’ representatives presence in Shopian. Immediately, Naikoo left to catch him.

Naikoo’s wife, Tanveera told Mountain Ink, that he called his trader friend, Zahid, to inquire about the railway station that he should deboard the train at. “He boarded the train in Baramulla and was supposed to get down at Bijbehara, as guided by Zahid, to reach Zainapora in Shopian.”

Naikoo had also promised Zahid that he would see him the next day, Tanveera said.

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According to Naikoo’s last call location, he was at Sadura railway station. It is a station just ahead of Anantnag railway station, many stations away from Bijbehara. “He called his wife at 5:47 pm and after disconnecting the call, his phone was switched off,” Naikoo’s brother Ghulam Rasool said.

And since then, Naikoo has disappeared.

The family waited for Naikoo to return the next day. “But he did not return till 24th of September,” his brother said. The family approached the local police station to file an FIR. The police denied, Ghulam Rasool said. “Police refused to file a case. They said since he went missing from Shopian, that’s where the FIR should be lodged.”

The family then travelled to Shopian where they were informed that the person is a resident of Sopore and that is where an FIR should be filed, Rasool said.

Finally, on September 25, an FIR was lodged in Sopore.

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Meanwhile, the family also established contact with one of the co-owners of the firm, Iqbal. Iqbal, according to Tanveera, said he hadn’t been to Kashmir anytime in the near past.

Police in Sopore designated a Special Investigation Team led by SHO Sopore Fayaz Khalid to trace Naikoo. “We tried all the means and mediums to trace him, but we haven’t been able to trace him,” Khalid said.

He said: “We boarded the same train that Naikoo had boarded and went from the same route. We checked all the CCTV footage but there was no trace of him,” Khalid said.

The family has held several demonstrations at Fruit Mandi Sopore demanding Naikoo be traced. On Tuesday Rasool along with over a dozen family members including children and women protested in the Press Enclave. “He is a father of three sons. We feel that the police aren’t putting in much effort. We request the LG and appeal to him to help us find our loved one,” Rasool said.

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