Mughli – The Lonely Mother

by Altaf Qadri



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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 organization of the relatives of people who have disappeared after custody, claims more than 10,000 people have been subject to forced disappearance by state agencies and were mostly picked up by the troops. Of the disappeared persons, between 2002-2005, 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 disappearance in Kashmir. Her only son Nazir Ahmed Teli, a teacher by profession, had left for school in 1991. She never saw him again and Mughli became one of the first members of a tragic club of several thousand women whose young sons or husbands have disappeared, majority of them after being picked up by police and security forces. Since then she has been to every single police station or any army camp to trace her only son. This story 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 died in the month of October 2009 without ever seeing her disappeared son again.

About Altaf Qadri
Altaf Qadri is an award winning photographer who works for the The Associated Press. His photographs and stories from events in Kashmir have appeared all around the globe including Time, The Guardian, New York Times, International Herald Tribune, Washington Post, and The Times among others. His work has been exhibited in many places including Los Angeles, New York, Paris, Cambodia, New Delhi, Beijing and Mumbai.



  • Reply March 2, 2010


    great work indeed but makes the audience sad.

  • Reply April 5, 2011


    Each photograph intensely depicts the agony, suffering and pain of the Parents of Disappeared Persons. Brilliant work Altaf Bhai, but as Shafqat says :- definitely made the audience sad!

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