APDP Writes to CM, Demands CoI in Disappearances, Mass Graves  

KL Report

SRINAGAR

Association of Parents of Disappeared Person (APDP) Thursday wrote to the Jammu and Kashmir chief minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and demanded an Independent Commission of Inquiry to prosecute those responsible for 8000+ disappearances and 7000+ unknown, unmarked and mass graves.

“A letter has been sent today to the new Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. The history of struggle against enforced disappearances and unknown, unmarked and mass graves has been highlighted in this letter and an Independent Commission of Inquiry has been once again demanded,” APDP statement said adding “The letter reminds, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed that the responsibility of investigation and prosecution for 8000+ disappearances and 7000+ unknown, unmarked and mass graves lies with the Indian State, and its functionaries, including Government of Jammu and Kashmir.”

Seven years after the APDP report “Facts Underground” that detailed the presence of more than 940 unknown, unmarked graves and mass graves in the Uri area of Baramulla district of North Kashmir, the association re-iterated its commitment to document, highlight and advocate for the disappeared victims of Jammu and Kashmir.

According to the statement despite the issue of graves being recognized by the European Parliament in its resolution of July 2008, different governments in Jammu and Kashmir have sought to frustrate the families of the disappeared with contradictory statements.

As per the statement, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed had stated in April 2003 that 60 persons had disappeared since inception of militancy. But, on 11 June 2003, as Chief Minister, he stated that 3744 persons had been ‘missing’ from 1990 till end 2002. Ten days later his governments Minister of State for Home placed the number of disappeared at 3931 from 1989 to June 2003. Meanwhile, despite the 19 October 2011 SHRC finding confirming 2156 unmarked graves in three districts of North Kashmir, and recommending action, the then Home Department, on 13 August 2012, formally responded to the SHRC October decision on graves in North Kashmir by dismissing most of the recommendations, repeating the statement of the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah that the burden was on the families to identify graves, alleging that investigation of graves would cause law and order problems, and stating that the government did not have the resources to carry out the recommendations on DNA tests. In addition, activists raising the issue were said to be acting on the behest of forces inimical to the State/Country. In contrast, countries in the region such as Pakistan, Philippines and Nepal have appointed Commissions and promulgated new laws to deal with the issue of enforced disappearances.

APDP through its letter to the Chief Minister has demanded that an Independent Commission of Inquiry, co-chaired by two credible retired justices of the Supreme Court of India, assisted by a relevant panel of international experts, and under scrutiny of independent observers, be tasked with the mandate of investigations of enforced disappearances and unknown, unmarked and mass graves, within a set time frame. “This Commission should carry out forensic examinations, DNA profiling, identify accused persons responsible and devise a framework for reparations,” APDP demanded.

Seven years after the APDP report “Facts Underground” that detailed the presence of more than 940 unknown, unmarked graves and mass graves in the Uri area of Baramulla district of North Kashmir, the association re-iterated its commitment to document, highlight and advocate for the disappeared victims of Jammu and Kashmir.

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