SRINAGAR The Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) has appealed the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) to take its own investigations and recommendations regarding unmarked and mass graves to the logical conclusion by litigating the matter before the J&K High Court for implementation.
A spokesperson said that families of the disappeared commemorated the lives of 8000 disappeared persons about whom the Government of India has always been in denial. We want to to know the whereabouts of our loved ones; if they are dead or alive; if dead, where have they been buried; but our pleas have fallen to the deaf ears of the State.
Despite APDPs repeated appeals for the constitution of an independent inquiry commission to look into the crime of enforced disappearances and forensic investigation into the existence of more than 7000 unknown, unmarked and mass graves in Kashmir, the government continues to be in denial and deferring the process of justice in Jammu and Kashmir. Under the international legal obligations and respect for rule of law, Indian state cannot escape the responsibility to unravel the truth behind thousands of unmarked and mass graves in Jammu and Kashmir. The family members of the disappeared believe that some of these grave sites contain the remains of victims of enforced disappearances, unlawful killings, torture and other abuses which occurred in the context of armed conflict persisting in the Jammu and Kashmir. Therefore, it is imperative that the government and its institutions must investigate these sites and must come up with facts behind these graves, said the spokesperson.
The State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) from time to time has conducted detailed inquiries into the unknown, unmarked and mass graves (in 5 districts of Jammu and Kashmir) and also looking into more than 650 cases of enforced disappearances submitted by APDP. Despite SHRCs repeated directions and recommendations for comprehensive forensic investigation including DNA (Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid) testing into unmarked and mass graves, the government failed to comply and implement any of the recommendations. APDP on August 8, 2018, moved an application to the SHRC and urged SHRC to take up the matter in the High Court.
On the occasion of the International Day of Disappeared, APDP appeals SHRC to take its own investigations and recommendations regarding unmarked and mass graves to the logical conclusion by litigating the matter before the J&K High Court for implementation. Families of the disappeared have neither been able to get emotional closure nor the legal closure. Therefore, due to the nature of the continuing crime, it is incumbent on SHRC to play a role in accordance with its mandate and responsibility towards the victims of state violence.