SRINAGAR: Six mothers were among ten parents who died while longing to see their sons who were picked up by government forces and subjected to enforced disappearances during the last two decades of conflict in Jammu Kashmir, the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) said Monday.
“Six mothers and four fathers of the disappeared youth breathed their last before having last glimpse of their sons. On the one hand, impunity under AFSPA gives freehand to forces to murder, disappear, torture and rape people, and on the other hand lack of accountability gives painful and silent death to the parents of the victims of the enforced disappearances. The draconian laws like AFSPA must go and the forces must be held accountable for every human right violation,” APDP chairperson Parveena Ahanger told Kashmir Reader during the monthly sit-in held here amid chill and incessant rains.
She was joined by several men and women, whose kith and kin have been subjected to enforced disappearances by the forces.
Divulging the details of the parents who died after hopeless search of their sons, Parveena said that Haleema Begum of Batamaloo passed away on February 26 last without seeing her disappeared son Basharat Ahmad Shah, who was picked up by CRPF in Sopore on October 12, 1990 and subjected to enforced disappearance.
“Her husband, Muhammmad Amin Shah met the similar fate in their struggle to search their missing son,” she said.
“Earlier, Hasina Begum, whose son Mohammad Anwar Shah was picked up and subjected to enforced disa by the government forces on July 21, 2000 in Srinagar, had also died in similar circumstances,” she added.
Hasina and her daughter in law, according to Parveena, tried their best to trace Anwar who was a painter by profession.
Like Haleema and Hasina, Parveena said, Mehtaba Begum of Karihama, Kupwara also passed away during her struggle to know the whereabouts of her son Mohammad Yaqoob Khan who was arrested by 56/76 battalions of Border Security Force (BSF) 24 years ago during a crackdown and subjected to enforced disappearance
“Misra Begum of Boatman Colony, Bemina also passed away during her struggle to know the whereabouts of her son, Shabir Hussain Gassi, who was picked up by 6 Rashtriya Rifles of the Indian Army from his home on January 21, 2000. Similarly, Hameeda Parveen, mother of Abid Hussain Dar, died in 2012. Abid was a student at the time of his arrest and subsequent disappearance by the soldiers of 15 JAKLI,” the APDP chairperson said.
She said that Zoona Begum, mother of Imtiyaz Ahmad Wani of Rajbagh passed away in 2011. Her son disappeared on May 15, 1996 after his arrest by joint team of BSF and the STF from his home. Imtiyaz was working in the state Forest Department.
Besides mothers, Parveena said, fathers of the disappeared persons also met a painful end. She said that Ghulam Muhammad Bhat, whose son Shabir Hussain Bhat was arrested by 21 battalion BSF, passed away on January 7 this year.
Another parent, Abdul Ahad Sofi of Daribal, Naid Kadal passed away in 2012. The 61 battalion of BSF picked up his son, Bashir Ahmad Sofi, on June 17, 2003 from his home in presence of his family.
“Muhammad Jamal Bhat of Kupwara passed away in 2012. His son Ghulam Hassan Bhat disappeared on January 25, 1992. Wali Mohammad of Hanjiwara, Baramulla also died in his struggle to know the whereabouts of his disappeared son,” Parveena said.
Expressing solidarity with the families of the victims, the APDP chairperson pledged to take her struggle to know the whereabouts of the missing youth to its logical end.