Grave issue invokes sharp reactions

The SHRC report confirming the presence of unmarked graves in north Kashmir has evoked sharp reactions across the political spectrum in the valley with calls for an impartial probe getting louder by the day.

The Chairman of Hurriyat Conference (G) Syed Ali Shah Geelani called for the International Court of Justice and United Nations War Crimes Tribunal to initiate a probe into the unmarked and mass graves in the Valley.  “We believe that most of the Kashmiris who have been subjected to enforced disappearance are buried in these unmarked and mass graves,” he said.

Chairman of parallel faction, MirwaizUmerFarooq said that the SHRC report made it clear that the government forces were killing innocent civilians for medals and promotions. “Gradually, these disclosures are unveiling the barbaric acts of oppression and state terrorism committed by government forces, and should serve as an eye-opener for international groups working for human rights,” Mirwaiz said.

Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), Mohammad Yasin Malik said that the SHRC’s revelation of mass graves has once again exposed the “jungle raj” in Kashmir.

“It’s imperative that an impartial probe is carried out into these mass killings, and Amnesty International, Asia Watch, United Nation’s Human Rights Commission and other international rights groups should take steps in this regard,” he said. National Front Chairman Nayeem Ahmad Khan claimed that such graves also exist in Rajouri, Poonch, Doda and Kishtwar in Jammu division. “Thousands of bullet-ridden bodies are buried in unmarked graves and buried outside Kashmir,” he said.

ParveenaAhanger, founder and chairperson of the APDP, said, “We appeal to International human rights groups and Indian authorities to identify the people buried.”

In the wake of the revelations, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said there was a need for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to find out the truth.”I have said this before I assumed governance and repeated it afterwards; there is a need for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

That commission should be assigned to find answers to the incidents of the last 21 years, both by militants and security forces, which have raised questions,” Omar said.

The PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti said that the country’s political parties, establishment and civil society had almost “abandoned Kashmir” at a time when millions of people across the country had mobilized themselves into an effective anti-corruption campaign. “It was obvious from lack of any reaction to the detection of mass graves that Kashmir is not a cause for concern but is ignored even when something of the proportions of a national shame has taken place here.”

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