DNA Profiling Of Bodies In Unmarked Graves: SHRC


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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 pathology, so that even the identity of dead bodies in these unmarked graves is possible with the claimed disappeared person,”

However, the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) has submitted a rejoinder of in which 3884 unmarked graves have been found in two districts of Jammu and Kashmir, believed to be the locals of the state- victims of the 21-year-old armed rebellion.

The graves were found in dozens of villages in Rajouri and Poonch district only. The two districts which are close to Line of Control, the de-facto border between India and Pakistan.

The SHRC reacted to the rejoinder of the APDP, saying that, “Commission has taken cognizance of it and has also registered a case in this matter. We have issued notices to government for providing a factual report regarding the allegations and for which the Commission would again meet on 18th October.”

The human rights activist and Programme Coordinator of APDP, Khurram Pervez said, “We have called for widening of Kupwara investigation to 3884 bodies in 208 unmarked graves in Poonch and Rajouri districts.”

In the earlier report by the State Human Rights Commission there were 2156 unmarked graves found in different districts of North Kashmir.  “At 38 places visited in north Kashmir, there were 2,156 unidentified dead bodies buried in unmarked graves,” the report said. There were 21 unmarked graves in Baramulla, three each in Bandipore and Handwara and 11 in Kupwara. The probe said it established 851 unidentified bodies in Baramulla, 14 in Bandipore, 14 in Handwara and 1277 in Kupwara.

According to Jammu and Kashmir Police website, 569 Pakistani militants were killed in the state in the past 12 years. Most of the Pakistani militants killed were affiliated to Lashkar-e-Toiba, as per the statistics posted on the state police website. The data of 12 years seems a very less number which proves that the militancy in Valley is not Pakistan sponsored.

SHRC judgement of 16th September 2011

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