5 ‘Half Widows’ Sit On Hunger Strike

SRINAGAR: As a part of the ongoing global campaign, ‘Return our martyrs’ remains” Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) observed day-long fast Tuesday. The fast was also observed by five half-widows including Tahira Begum, Haleema Begum, Raja Begum, Muneera Begum and Halima Begum.

Programme Coordinator, Khurram Parvez said that the global campaign by Kashmir activists demanding the return of the mortal remains of Mohamamd Maqbool Bhat and Mohamamd Afzal Guru who are buried in Delhi’s Tihar jail, includes APDP’s ongoing demand for the investigations into all the unmarked graves and their relationship to those who have disappeared in Jammu and Kashmir since 1989.

He said there are more than 8000 cases of enforced disappearances, and more than 1500 half-widows in Jammu and Kashmir. Some half-widows believe that their disappeared husbands may still be incarcerated in secretive detention centres in India, he said adding that the fast was observed at different places of Kashmir Valley.

Khuram said APDP reiterated its demand for an impartial and independent inquiry and investigation into the phenomenon of enforced disappearances in Jammu and Kashmir. APDP also appealed to the international community to call upon the Government of India to release all political prisoners of Jammu and Kashmir who have been languishing in different jails of India for many years now. Moreover, bodies such as the ICRC must be allowed to play a greater role in investigating and examining secretive detention centres used by the Indian State, in and outside of Jammu and Kashmir, it said.

“APDP re-affirms that the struggle will continue, to both ascertain the whereabouts of the disappeared and for the end of impunity for the Indian State and the individual perpetrators of crimes in Jammu and Kashmir.” 

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