Today on the International Day on Enforced Disappearances, Jammu and Kashmir’s Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) staged a peaceful sit-in protest at Pratap Park, Srinagar.
Scores of family members of disappeared persons participated in the peaceful protest that was also attended by Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik who expressed solidarity with the families of the victims and said that his organization would always support the APDP which is fighting for a just cause.
The family members whose loved ones are involuntarily disappeared at the hands of the Indian forces during the turmoil in Kashmir reiterated that they will continue their struggle till government did not issue a statement about the whereabouts of their family members.
A resident form North Kashmir’s Katianwali area of Baramulla district Bashir Ahmad Chichi said that his brother Altaf Ahmed was on his way back from his routine work from fields when he was taken away by some unidentified gunmen. He said, “Since November 16, 2002 his family has been roaming from pillar to post in search of Altaf but all in vain.”
An elderly woman from Kawoosa village of Budgam alleged that her son Muhammad Ramzan Sheikh was a 25 years old in 1992 when forces took him away. “He was engrossed in his work, we were busy in our paddy fields. I will die in peace after having a glimpse of my beloved son,” she said.
APDP Chairperson Parveena Ahanger said that the victims have left no stone unturned to know the whereabouts of the disappeared but to no avail.
“Our search from pillar to post is turning futile. We don’t get any clue of our dear ones doesn’t mean we would give up. No way till our last breath.”
Parveena said that the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC), High court, Supreme Court and all other institutions of justice have failed to do justice with them.
She said that they are living with the hope to see their loved ones back one day. “Hope sustains life, we are hopeful that our disappeared kin will be with us someday soon,” she added.
“We want government to come clear on the disappearance issue. Where are our loved ones? Are they alive or dead, we want to know,” Parveena questioned.
She said that several movements across the globe have been raising their voice for the victims of the enforced disappearances in the world. Like us many families have organized themselves in Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand.
“I would like to remind ourselves that the enforced disappearance in Kashmir cuts across regions and religions. Besides Kashmiri Muslims, the Sikh minority has not remained untouched from the state terror,” she said.