World Marks International Day Of The Disappeared
By Ashraf Siddiqui, 30 August 2020
World Human Rights organizations, Watchdog institutions, Indian Human Rights Commission, Jammu & Kashmir Human Rights Bodies have repeatedly issued reports on abduction, forced disappearances, illegal imprisonments, illegal use of force, inhuman and vast human rights abuses on innocent thousands of Kashmiri children, ladies, youths and elders. Among these organizations include Amnesty International, International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), ‘Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons’ (APDP), Int’l People’s Tribunal for Human Rights & Justice (IPTK) in Indian held Jammu & Kashmir base human rights organization.
Enforced disappearances, Unlawful killings and torture are violations of international human rights laws as well as constitute international crimes. These are set out in treaties of which India is a signatory.
Amnesty International has repeatedly asked Indian government to immediately condemn, and to ensure carrying out urgently prompt, thorough impartial and independent investigations into all sites of mass graves in the region by forensic experts as per the UN Model Protocol. However, Indian government has always been ignoring the silent cries from within occupied Kashmir region and world across.
Thousands of families of the missing persons continue to live in anguish, hoping one day to get any news about the fate of their dear ones.
Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK), the only majority Muslim State under Indian forced occupation since 27 October 1947 is oldest unsolved issue lying in cold storage of United Nations Security Council. Since then hundreds of thousand innocent people are killed, tens of thousands of ladies recorded raped, gone through severe tortures, illegal imprisonments and passing through humiliation, worst human rights abuses and severe psychological situation right from very young age.
Since decades, silent cries from Indian Occupied Kashmir are knocking at the doors of world bodies but are returned unheard from the deaf ears.
Human Rights Bodies across the world including Amnesty International and from India itself have been demanding probe on over 8, 000 Kashmiri missing persons, about mass graves, torture and illegal arrest of thousands of youths, inhuman blockade of only Muslim vast majority state of Indian Occupied Kashmir.
Revocation of Article 370 (1949) on 6th of August 2019 by Indian parliament followed by unending forced inhuman blockade since 5th August 2019 till today, draconian impunity legislation Section 7 of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act 1990 (AFSPA), providing armed forces, government sponsored militias (Ikhwanis) free hand for all kinds of widespread human rights abuses in Indian controlled Jammu & Kashmir, Public Safety Act (PSA) of 1978 are a few grave examples of so called world largest democracy having bills passed in different timings during last 73 years of forced and illegal occupation by the Indian governments and parliament witnesses real face of undemocratic and racist India.
Amnesty International in it’s several published reports during last number of decades have asked Indian government to investigate urgently number of unidentified mass graves, believed to contain victims of unlawful killings, enforced disappearances, torture and other human rights abuses recorded in Indian administered Jammu and Kashmir. In a published report dated 02 March 1999, it says ‘ India: ‘If they are dead, tell us’ – “Disappearances” in Jammu and Kashmir
However, the national and State governments denied systematic human rights abuses in Kashmir. Indian government has also refused to carry out exhumations or forensic examinations of bodies found in unmarked mass graves. One of the Amnesty International report reveals that the Indian government has denied permission, or ‘sanction’ to prosecute under Section 7 of the AFSPA in every case brought against members of the army and paramilitary, or in a small number of cases, has kept the decision pending for years. It also documents a lack of transparency in the sanction process.
In rare exception (November 2014), Indian army had convicted and sentenced five soldiers for shooting and killing three men in a ‘fake encounter’. However, there is growing acceptance internationally that security forces involved in human rights violations should be tried in civil courts not by the military courts because of structural flaws in Indian Military courts related to their competence and impartiality.
The family members of the disappeared have the right to know whether their loved ones are dead or alive. If they are alive, they want from Indian government to inform where are they. If they are dead, the families want the government to identify the graves of these persons.
All those involved in all these heinous crimes of forced disappearances should be prosecuted regardless of how powerful they are.