More cases of disappearances in Kashmir documented

Srinagar: Raising serious doubts over the government’s intention to probe the unmarked graves issue, APDP, on the eve of International Day of Disappeared, August 30 submitted a fresh petition in SHRC with around 507 documented cases of disappearances belonging to different villages of Baramulla and Bandipora districts.

“It is imperative that the government carries out investigations into unmarked graves through DNA testing and other forensic methods,” reads the memo of the petition. The State government recently submitted a 27-page Action Taken Report in SHRC saying that matter would be investigated by, a yet-to-be constituted Truth and Reconciliation Commission that has been awaiting establishment for the past many years.

Scores of young artists used art as a weapon to protest against alleged disappearances in state. They expressed the pain and agony of relatives of disappeared through paintings, graphics and poems to mark the International Day of Disappeared.

 Along with families of victims, APDP activists and volunteers proceeded to Narbal on the Srinagar-Baramulla highway, where the Association has been donated a piece of land for erecting a memorial dedicated to people who have been victims of disappearance.

 JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik, August 30 said disclosure of the whereabouts of the disappeared could be most valuable confidence building measure.

Rejecting wide-scale DNA testing, state Home department’s report September 5 said all those buried in graves are militants and insisted if families wanted DNA tests, they would have to identify the graveyard and the exact grave where they think their disappeared relatives are buried. “Random DNA testing of graves would take years as only 16 labs in the country have the capacity to do these tests. It could attract undesired media-attention, cause prolonged trauma and act as trigger-point for causing serious law and order disturbances.”

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-30 September 2012 on page no. 10

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