Srinagar: Sixteen years have passed by
and they are "legally dead" with bodies yet to be traced, but
the hope of an American family refuses to die.
This is the story of the family whose member was among
the six foreigners kidnapped by militants in the Kashmir
Valley in July, 1995.
Tomorrow is the day when the incident took place 16
years back and a phone call from India to Donald Hutching`s
home in Orefield in Pennsylvania still rejuvenates the hope
that some information about him may still come.
"Do you have any information about my son-in-law?"
asked Joyce A Schelly, mother-in-law of Hutching, when she was
contacted by PTI to know the whereabouts of Jane, wife of the
Hutching was among the six foreigners abducted by
little-known Al-Faran, a shadow outfit of terror group
Harkat-ul-Ansar. The others were Paul Wells and Keith Mangan
of Britain, Dirk Hassert (Germany), John Childs (the US) and
Hans Christan Ostro (Norway).
While Childs was the lucky one who managed to escape
in the cover of darkness six days after his abduction,
27-year-old Ostro ran short of his luck when his kidnappers
severed his head and his body was located on August 13, 1995.
Jane, a school teacher, who has visited India 11 times
since her husband was abducted by Al Faran, could not be
contacted as she was away camping.
However, her mother said that she keeps on waiting for
"Jane still meets officials. Though she has reconciled
with her fate but the hope refuses to die," Schelly told PTI.
"I also wanted to go to that land (in 2008) but had to
drop the idea as terrorists struck the same year in Mumbai,"
the mother said.