Srinagar, Aug 30: Rights activists press for conducting DNA test of the bodies in over 7,000 unmarked graves.
According to the Association of Parents of Disappeared People more than 8,000 people have gone missing in J&K during the last two decades of turmoil
According to the Association of Parents of Disappeared People more than 8,000 people have gone missing in J&K during the last two decades of turmoil.
Forty-year-old Haleema Begum was once a proud and happy homemaker, but now she lives on the support of her parents and neighbours.
Haleema became a half-widow 12 years ago when her husband, Mushtaq Ahmad Bhat, was abducted by gunmen. Half-widow is a term used to describe the women whose husbands are missing in Jammu and Kashmir.
According to the Association of Parents of Disappeared People (APDP), more than 8,000 people have gone missing in J&K during the last two decades of turmoil. “One morning he left home to drop tiffin box at his brother’s shop. But he never returned. He was abducted by masked gunmen and taken to unknown place. For 12 years we have been going from pillar to post but to no avail,” Haleema told dna.
Tragedy struck again for Haleema when her son fell from a tree some years later. “We could not afford Rs25,000 for his surgery and that is why his arm has been permanently dislocated. We have no means of livelihood. My husband had surrendered and joined police as an SPO. He was the breadwinner. Now we are living on the support of my parents and villagers,” she added.
Similar is the story of Riyaz Ahmad Mir, who has not given up his fight for justice for his father Ghulam Mohammad Mir, a government employee. Mir was picked up from his home by the security forces 16 years ago. “We have filed a case. Insha Allaha we hope justice will be done,” said Riyaz.
On the International Day of Disappeared (August 30), human rights activists have demanded naming and shaming of those responsible for the disappearance of people. “The institutional culture of institutional culpability and impunity has resulted in enforced and involuntary disappearance of at least 8,000 persons. This is a crime against humanity. The government of the day is also complicit in this crime against humanity,” Khurram Parvez, Programme Coordinator, J&K Coalition of Civil Society.
“Almost 7,000 unmarked graves have been discovered in five districts so far. But the government is not willing to conduct DNA test of the bodies. Therefore on this day we not only want to show solidarity with victims but also press for justice to these victims,” Khurram added.