Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) Monday resolved not to engage with and not vote in the election process in Jammu and Kashmir. APDP appealed that other families of the disappeared and all persons who have suffered at the hands of the Indian State must not engage with the electoral process.
According to a statement it was felt that despite successive changes of government, whether in New Delhi, or in Jammu and Kashmir, there has been no change for the family members of the disappeared or for that matter for the people of Jammu and Kashmir as a whole, including victims/family members of human rights violations.
“The National Conference (NC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Indian National Congress have been in power at different points in Jammu and Kashmir between 1996 and the present. But, none of these Governments have taken any steps to resolve the issue of enforced disappearances,” the statement said, adding “Except for comments when in opposition, these parties, and the representatives have consistently worked towards the larger Indian State policy in Jammu and Kashmir and sought to protect the perpetrators for human rights violations.”
The statement said that no political party in their election manifesto has referred to the alarming issue of 8000 disappearances in Jammu and Kashmir. “While providing different and contradictory figures, all political parties in Jammu and Kashmir have admitted the reality of enforced disappearances. But, they have taken no action. Except making promises like setting up truth and reconciliation commission and empowering State Human Rights Commission nothing has been done by any of the parties.”
“The Indian State and its various representatives in Jammu and Kashmir have deliberately chosen to scuttle all processes of justice, and have ignored all demands made by victims of human rights violations, including APDP,” the APDP statement, said adding “Despite more than 8000 victims of enforced disappearances, 7000+ unknown, unmarked and mass graves, killings, torture, sexual assault and numerous other human rights violations, the Indian State has taken no action.”
In addition, 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.
“The Indian State has ensured absolute impunity as not a single armed forces personnel has been prosecuted for crimes committed in Jammu and Kashmir,” the statement said adding, “The perpetrators are protected and rewarded. The victims, and the crime, dismissed and ignored.”