Gravedigger Atta Mohammad (75), believed to have buried 235 unidentified bodies, died late Sunday evening at his hometown Bimyar, Uri after prolonged ailments.
In the last 25 years of Kashmir conflict, Atta Mohammad in his village received 235 unidentified bullet-ridden dead bodies, most of whom the armed forces claimed were militants killed in encounters. These included the body of a six-moth old baby girl.
After seeing many identified bodies, Atta chose a different way and decided to give them a proper burial. On some occasions, he and the local community members would retain some belonging of the dead, which helped in identification, when their families came looking for them. He was the main person, who helped the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) and Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS) through sustained research work, to document the existence of 7000 unmarked graves in Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora, Poonch and Rajouri districts of Jammu and Kashmir. Pertinently the government had no records to prove the identity of these unidentified persons.