This is the statement issued by the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) in Kashmir.
On 30th August 2012, APDP submitted 507 cases of enforced disappearances from Baramulla and Bandipora districts to the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) for investigations into the causes and circumstances which led to their disappearances. APDP had urged SHRC to investigate whether these people are dead or alive and if they have been killed, then it should be ascertained whether these people have been buried in unmarked graves and mass graves in entire Jammu and Kashmir through DNA tests.
Initially the state government and SHRC showed reluctance to admit these 507 cases of enforced disappearances, but finally on 24th December 2012 the case has been admitted and the notices have been issued to the Director General of Jammu and Kashmir Police and the Deputy Commissioners of Baramulla and Bandipora districts to furnish their reports regarding the disappearance of these 507 persons. The copy of the order is annexed.
Earlier on 10th December 2011, APDP has submitted 132 cases of enforced disappearances from Banihal to the SHRC. APDP had urged SHRC to investigate the causes and circumstances which led to the disappearance of these 132 persons from Banihal. Also APDP had expressed that the family members of these victims were willing to cooperate for DNA tests.
Given the fact that so far 639 cases of enforced disappearances have been submitted to the SHRC for investigations and for possible DNA tests, Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah has chosen to lie and confuse the issue of enforced disappearances and unmarked graves. The Chief Minister recently said to some newspapers that so far no one has approached the government for carrying out DNA tests. He also mentioned that the S.P. of the Human Rights Cell of the CID has been made nodal officer for the DNA tests. The government vide its Action Taken Report submitted to the SHRC has laid out the procedure for the families to approach this S.P of CID for DNA tests. The same was also shamelessly reiterated by the Chief Minister recently when he said that family members of the disappeared while approaching the nodal officer for the DNA tests should identify the graveyard and the particular grave in which they suspect that their loved ones have been buried. This is a bizarre statement. How would the family members of the disappeared know whether their relatives are dead or alive and also if they are dead, where they have been buried?
We believe that the DNA tests of all the unmarked graves should be carried out first and only after that the family members should be asked to give DNA samples.
This policy of the present government suggests that Chief Minister is not just callous but also cruel and crude in his understanding about the issue of enforced disappearances in Jammu and Kashmir. Omar Abdullah’s statement is not a surprise for the family members of the disappeared. National Conference has a legacy of siding with tyranny and injustice. The ex-Chief Minister, Farooq Abdullah on 13th January 2001 stated that, “My orders to the police are wherever you find a militant, dispatch him as I do not want to fill jails”, which only further empowered the armed forces to continue their policy of extra-judicial killings.
We urge government to end this policy of lies and obduracy and adopt the principles of justice and fairness, while dealing with issue of enforced disappearances and unmarked graves in Jammu and Kashmir.