Group Reveals Presence of 130 Unidentified Graves in Sonawari

SRINAGAR: A human rights group ‘the Voice of Victims’, Thursday said that during its months long survey it has found more than 130 unidentified bodies lying in scores of nameless mass graves in north Kashmir’s Sumbal-Sonawri belt.

Group also said it has discovered an unnamed grave yard in the same area. There was no independent verification available to the claim.

Group coordinator, Abdul Rouf Khan said that an investigation team headed by Abdul Qadeer Dar, executive director visited the area and gathered information about the people who were buried in the graveyard of Bhat Mohalla during the past 23 years.

Group found that three bodied were buried in a single grave. The bodies were handed over to locals by the police. “The residents told our team that the troops and police used to bring bodies and hand over to them for burial. They revealed that these of those who were being detained by the forces in nearby STF camp. The bodies were often handed over to local Awqaf Committee for burial.”

Khan while quoting a local Manzoor Ahmad said that once troops brought a dead body and handed over to them for burial, they identified him  as a Pakistani militant but later he proved to be a resident of Kokernag, Anantnag and a carpenter by profession who was picked up by the forces in South Kashmir and killed in North Kashmir. He said that his body was exhumed after a year from the grave yard.

Manzoor Ahmad told them that he is himself witness to burial of at least 20 bodied. Locals said that once they refused to bury unidentified bodies, armed forces started burying them inside the STF camp few meters away from the grave yard. They claimed that over 50 dead bodies are buried inside the camp which is now under CRPF control.

Group claimed that a notorious police inspector Farooq Gadroo abducted and raped a teenage girl of the area and later killed her. She was also buried inside the camp. Her body was later exhumed after the STF vacated the camp.

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