APDP demands for an Independent Impartial Inquiry Commission to Investigate Enforced Disappearances in J&K

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Srinagar: APDP has welcomed the recent order of Jammu and Kashmir High Court directing the constitution of a Special Investigating Team [SIT] into the disappearance of five labourers of Sang Liana, Surankote, Poonch from Srinagar on June 13, 2005.

In a statement the APDP has identified the victims as (1) Mohammad Javaid Gojar, 22, son of Mohammad Sadiq, (2) Mohammad Rafi Gojar, 15, son of Mohammad Aslam , (3) Abdul Majeed Gojar, 24, son of Fahad Hussain, (4) Mohammad Mushtaq Gojar, 22, son of Mohammad Bashir and (5) Mohammad Mustaq Gojar Kohli, 19, son of Syed Mohammad, had come to Srinagar for labour work and were staying in Dalgate area, where from  one person namely Abdul Qayoom Baba, working for JAK Rifles, through his accomplices  lured the five victims for labour work and paid them Rs 1000 in advance. Since then nothing traced out about their whereabouts.

However, the accused Abdul Qayoom was detained by police but due to the intervention of some high ups from police and army, he was released. “Now the recent order from the High Court once again provided hope to the victim families that the matter will be investigated and the whereabouts of the five missing youth will be ascertained,” an APDP Spokesman said.

The spokesman said in a statement said “since more than 8000 persons have been subjected to enforced or involuntary disappearances in Jammu and Kashmir, but so far the government has failed to conduct an impartial investigation into these cases and the perpetrators continue to enjoy impunity. Further, the government of India has not ratified the International Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance, not allowed the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances to visit India, and to date, the crime of enforced disappearance is not recognized by India under its domestic laws. Alleged perpetrators of crimes of enforced disappearance and other abuses are not investigated or prosecuted. To date, the government has ensured absolute impunity, as not single armed forces personnel has been prosecuted for crimes committed in Jammu and Kashmir. The perpetrators are protected and rewarded. The victims and the crime dismissed and ignored.”

Unlike past, the government must acknowledge the phenomenon of enforced disappearances in Jammu and Kashmir and must set up an independent impartial inquiry commission to conduct comprehensive investigations into all the cases of enforced disappearance, bring the perpetrators to justice and reveal the whereabouts of more than 8000 disappeared persons of Jammu and Kashmir, the statement said.

APDP once again reminds in a statement the Government of India of its responsibility to carry out comprehensive forensic investigations of 7000+ unknown, unmarked and mass graves in Jammu and Kashmir under the supervision of an international forensic institution. Thorough investigations, including DNA tests and forensic examinations, of all those buried in unmarked graves, would help in ascertaining the identities of these unidentified persons and the process may also help us in finding the answers to the questions of the family members of the disappeared, who have been struggling to know the truth from more than two decades.

He said that association will continue to its struggle against the practice of enforced disappearance in Jammu and Kashmir and will continue its demands for truth, justice, and reparations for the thousands of victims of enforced disappearances and their family members who have been awaiting justice from decades now.

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