SHRC seeks govt response on nameless graves

Srinagar, June 11: The State Human Rights Commission has issued notice to the Jammu and Kashmir Government seeking information on the initiatives taken on the Commission’s direction to investigate into the nameless graves found in Varmul district last year.
“Having regard to the totality of the facts and sensitivity of the matter and the implication it has on public at large, the Commission deems it necessary to issue notice to the government,” chairperson SHRC, Justice Syed Bashir-ud-din said in his order.
The Commission has sought details about the registration of the FIRs and other records maintained by the police station concerned in respect of ‘202 graves in Uri sub-division, 97 graves in Bijhama, 75 in Boniyar and 30 in Uri.’
The Commission has directed the senior superintendent of police of its investigative staff to start an independent inquiry into the matter. “He shall be extended all cooperation and facilities by the police stations concerned and other authorities,” the order said.
The latest notice to the Government follows suo moto cognizance of an Amnesty International report by the Commission in which the AI had urged the Government of India to launch an urgent investigation into the nameless graves found in Kashmir.
Quoting a report “Facts Under Ground” by Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons revealing that it had found the graves in Uri in a 14-months’ survey, the Amnesty had said, “These may be victims of unlawful killings and disappearances.”
The SHRC had recommended to the Government to develop a mechanism for redressing the grievances of APDP.According to APDP, the survey was completed in four phases in different villages including Zandfaran, Kichama, Budmulla Fatehgarh, Chehal, Bimyar Peerniyan,Boniyar, Trikanjan, Parro Rampore, Chottali Gingal,Bijhama, Lachipora and Mayan.
“We have been able to find 940 to 1000 graves in many villages of Uri during the survey. And according to the locals most of the buried persons labelled as foreign militants by troops and policemen were later found to be the Kashmiris,” the APDP report had said. The Association had decided to highlight the issue in international fora.
“It is a long struggle, a tough fight, but the APDP wouldn’t give up till state government comes up with the details: who were they, why were they killed and buried unknown in deserted places. And where have thousands of the disappeared persons gone?” the APDP had said.