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unmarked mass graves

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Angana Chatterji Interviewed by David Barsamian San Francisco: Among the many issues plaguing South Asia none is as violent and deeply contested as Kashmir. The major unresolved issue of the disastrous British partition of India in 1947, Kashmir has been the site of wars and the threat of wars, and probably the world’s longest and most extensive military occupation. India brooks no international meditation to address the problem. What’s the problem? A lot of Kashmiris don’t want to be part of India. They didn’t in 1947 and they don’t, probably in even larger numbers, today. The U.S., champion of human

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By Suhail Akram When you think of a mass grave, what do you think? Do you think of it as a warm grassy patch of land in some distant meadow wedged between the lofty mountains with little or no tombstones and just rectangular pieces of clay protruding here and there numbered two hundred fifteen two hundred sixteen two hundred seventeen and so on and so forth…? Or do you think of it as a proper cemetery with regular clearly visible marble engraved names of unknown men on her hazy epitaphs? Something, I am sure must be coming to your mind.

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They say that after much is said and done, much is said than done. As more and more unmarked graves crop up in Kashmir, the lip service to the skeletal remains of those buried in them resonates across the political class. The idea of justice to those buried inside these graves, or to their near and dear ones is yet to be exhumed. Some quarters led by the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah have called for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission —a TRC. It’s not clear whether the offer for a TRC is a ‘we’ll-tell-you-the-truth-and-you-reconcile-with-it’ or a

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By Fahad Shah & Sheikh Saleem He is a human rights lawyer and a civil rights activist. He graduated in Science from Srinagar in the year 1972 and then got his LLB degree at the Law College Aligarh Muslim University in 1975. Imroz joined the Jammu and Kashmir High Court as a lawyer in 1978. Since the end of the eighties, he has initiated and led campaigns for human rights in a context of grave violations, including killings, tortures and rapes, or forced “disappearances” with impunity. He is founder and President of the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society

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By Heena Kausar Bikramjeet Batra, Amnesty International’s India Campaigner- Asia Pacific Programme Recently, the Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) released a report Inquiry Report of Unmarked Graves in North Kashmir wherein they have confirmed presence of 2156 unidentified graves at 38 sites in North Kashmir. On 16 September 2011, the SHRC directed that the bodies should be identified using all available means and techniques including DNA profiling, dental examination and other forensic pathology techniques. However nothing concrete has been delivered yet. On 26 September Amnesty International gave an open letter to all members of the legislative assembly

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By Sheikh Saleem Halima Begum shows he her husband, Manzoor Ahmed Baba's photograph. She spends most of her time in her kitchen garden at her father’s house in Bankoot, Bandipora. She lives in one of the rooms of this three-room house. She sells vegetables to run her household. She has five kids, to take care of. Their father is missing since the past eight years. This is one of the stories of the hundreds of women who are called “half Widows”. Halima Begum, 35, is waiting for her husband, Manzoor Ahmed Baba to come. Eight years ago, Manzoor, a carpet

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By Muzamil Jaleel For the first time ever, the J-K Legislative Assembly discussed the issue of ‘unmarked graves’ for more than two and half hours. Srinagar: For the first time ever, the J-K Legislative Assembly discussed the issue of “unmarked graves’’ for more than two and half hours where a ruling NC legislator gave a long and heartrending description of how his neighbors and friends disappeared after being arrested by security forces from home, another NC legislator talked about “a thousand ft deep gorge in his border constituency where crows are eating corpses of men’’. It was September 27 –

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Unmarked graves in North Kashmir. Fahad Shah In a significant development, the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) today called for the constitution of an “independent duly representative structured body having due credibility fully empowered to go in all questions regarding unmarked graves” and in North Kashmir districts these graves be identified through DNA testing and other modern scientific techniques. The Chairperson of SHRC, M A Kawosa in an order issued here said, “The dead bodies in unmarked graves referred to and listed in the report of the Commission shall be identified by available means like DNA profile, physical description, dental examinations, finger prints, carbon dating, forensic

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