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Pradeep Singh

Angul: "Can we ever get justice? Is justice not meant for us? Please, return us our father," ask and plead daughters of Safibullah Khan while narating their struggle with extreme hardship since the day their father went missing on May 28, 2017.

A lawyer from Athmallik in Odisha's Angul district, Khan had gone to Mahanadi river bank with his friends for a feast on the fateful day and never returned home since then. Though the five friends of Khan, who were with him on that day, claim that he got drowned in the Mahanadi, Khan's family members refuse to believe in the drowning theory wondering how could an accomplished swimmer drown in the river when the flow of water was less or nil during summer.

Wife and children of Khan also claim that if he been drowned, the ODRAF teams would have found his body. An extensive search operation was reportedly launched after reports of Khan drowning in the river hit headlines.

"We have been running from pillar to post but no one is listening to us. I want my husband back. When we lodged an FIR, police had assured us to look into the matter but attempts are being made to close the case," alleged wife of Safibullah Khan, Sugri Khatun.

Following the allegations made by Khan's family members and after several protests, police had reportedly arrested the five friends of Khan. However, they were subsequently released after a few months.

Nabibullah, brother of Khan said, "Swimming was his hobby. It's difficult for us to even imagine he could get drowned. Within three months following arrest, they (the five accused) were set free. We demand justice and will continue our fight till we get it."

Speaking on the matter, Angul SP Jagmohan Meena said that five persons were earlier arrested based on the complaint of Khan's family members and a charge sheet was also filed against them. "I have directed the Athmallik SDPO for an inquiry and based on his report, we will take further action," he added.

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