Valley Group Admits Militants Responsible For Disappearances12 December 2011
Srinagar: For the first time in the two-decade long turmoil in Jammu and Kashmir, a Valley-based human rights group has admitted that militants were responsible for more enforced disappearances than security forces. Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP), an organisation seeking the whereabouts of missing persons in the State, said of the 132 cases it has documented, militant groups were responsible for 24 cases of enforced disappearances compared to 22 by the security forces, including the police. “According to the documented findings, out of 132 disappearance cases, 21 have been perpetrated by the Army, 24 by different militant groups and one by the personnel of Jammu and Kashmir Police,” APDP spokesperson Yasin-ul-Hassan Malik said. In 43 cases the perpetrators were unidentified gunmen and in the remaining 43 cases also, the victims disappeared under unknown circumstances. The APDP on Saturday submitted a list of 132 cases of enforced disappearances in remote Banihal area to the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC). In the 24 cases of disappearances, as reported by the families of the victims, notorious Hizbul Mujahideen militant Nazir Ahmed Wani alias Papplu was blamed for 10 cases. Wani was later killed by Hizbul militants itself. Over the years, the separatists and human rights activists in Kashmir have been blaming security forces for the enforced disappearances, which the APDP puts at 8,000, since militancy erupted in the State in 1990. The APDP, an organisation mainly consisting of relatives of missing persons, believes these persons might be buried in the hundreds of unmarked graves across the State. The investigative wing of SHRC had earlier this year established the presence of more than 2,000 unmarked graves in three north Kashmir districts of Bandipora, Kupwara and Baramulla. The SHRC endorsed the probe findings and recommended that an impartial inquiry by an independent agency be carried out to establish the identity of the victims in the unmarked graves and for bringing to the book those responsible for their death.