Where are our dear ones?

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Association of parents of Disappeared persons today held a silent sit in protest at Sher-I-Kashmir Park here against the enforced disappearances in the Valley.

The relatives of more than 8000 persons continue to wait for the government to probe all the cases of disappearances, deliver justice to the families of the disappeared and punish the perpetrators, the statement said.

“More than three months have passed since the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC), after endorsing our findings on unmarked graves and mass graves, passed a judgment in which it asked the government to constitute an Independent Commission for probing the identity of those buried in unmarked graves, investigating the circumstances in which they were killed and identifying the perpetrators involved,” the statement added.

The statement alleged that the government as usual has buried the SHRC judgment through delaying tactics to continue obfuscation. Obviously for the family members of the disappeared knowing the truth regarding the whereabouts of their loved ones is the priority, but successive governments through their actions have expressed that justice and human rights is not their priority.

They accused state government for not appointing chairperson of the State Human Rights Commission. “From 23rd October 2011 till now, the government has not appointed the new chairperson of the SHRC, which of course is impeding its inquiry into unmarked graves and mass graves in the Poonch and Rajouri districts. By not appointing the SHRC chairperson the only impression which we as APDP can gather is that government wants to delay the inquiry of unmarked graves and also the constitution of an Independent Commission on unmarked graves and disappearances in Jammu and Kashmir, which again is an example of how human rights and justice is not a government priority,” the spokesperson of APDP, Yaseen Hassan Malik told Agence India Press.

The spokesperson also said that enforced disappearance is not an issue of the past. “Even this year a 21 year old young man, Susheel Raina, disappeared mysteriously in the month of April 2011. Till now the government has done nothing to probe his disappearance,” he added.

He asserted that since 1998, APDP has been demanding the appointment of an independent Inquiry Commission for probing the phenomenon of the enforced disappearances in Jammu and Kashmir but successive governments have never paid any heed to this demand. “If the killing of Haji Mohammad Yousuf, an NC activist, merits a Commission of Inquiry, then certainly disappearances of 8000 persons should also be probed by a credible and capable inquiry commission,” Malik told Agence India Press. (AIP News)