World Disappearance Day
SRINAGAR: On World Disappearance Day, the pro-freedom leadership has questioned the “criminal silence” maintained by world nations and human rights bodies over thousands of enforced disappearances in Kashmir.
“More than ten thousand civilians have been subjected to enforced disappearances in Kashmir since 1990 by government forces. For thousands of families, the trauma and grief of this great inhuman act continues as they do not know where their loved ones are or what was done with them,” said Chairman Hurriyat Conference (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq in a statement. “Most among them keep waiting with the hope that someday they will return. Thousands of women have been turned into half widows waiting for their husbands.”
He said enforced disappearances are one of the “worst form of oppression” and the “inhumanity” the people of Kashmir were subjected to and the tragedy that befell these families is beyond words.
Mirwaiz demanded justice and accountability for the enforced disappeared and their families and said government should make public their details. He said family members of disappeared continue to stage peaceful protests with the hope that international and Indian human rights bodies will listen to their pleas to trace their loved ones.
“On the other hand, there are 8000 unnamed graves, which is (the) result of grave war crimes committed by forces in Kashmir (which) is the world’s highest militarised zones where unabated human rights violations occur each day (since) past three decades but the irony is that the silence observed by the world human rights bodies,” Mirwaiz said.
“The reign of terror unleashed by forces in Kashmir has no justification as the world forums including the United Nations have accepted Kashmir as a disputed territory and there is no denying the fact that 18 resolutions are pending in the UN security council for implementation.”
He termed the silence maintained by international bodies over the “worst form of human rights violations” in Kashmir as “very unfortunate”.
In a statement, Chairman Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Muhammad Yasin Malik said, “Once 9the) international community used to care for human rights but today, business and economic considerations stand more dearer to them. Brutal killings of more than hundred thousand Kashmiris, destructions of proprieties worth billions, attacks on the chastity of women, thousands of unmarked graves, arrest and torture of thousands, blanket ban on peaceful political activities and above all, (the) custodial disappearances of more than ten thousand people are all glaring examples of human rights violations in Jammu Kashmir.”
Malik was addressing people during a protest sit-in organised by Association of Parents for Disappeared Persons (APDP) at Partap Park here. “When anybody dies, his family naturally gets consoled with time but if someone (is subjected to) forceful disappearance and separated from his family, his family keeps looking for his whereabouts and thus the pain and agony for them is unending,” he said.
JKLF chairman said the international community has failed the people of Kashmir as it has not fulfilled its obligations vis-a-vis Kashmiris. “Our human rights are being violated on a daily basis but no one seems to care. All talk of establishing peace in the world but for peace to prevail there is need of justice to be delivered to the oppressed people,” he said.
The Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) in a statement urged the world powers to “seriously pursue” the case of those Kashmiris who were subjected to enforced disappearance after being taken into custody by Indian forces for the last 27 years.
“As the world observes this Day, it is high time to find out those thousands of Kashmiris who were subjected to enforced disappearance,” a DFP spokesperson said in a statement.
The spokesperson said more than 10,000 persons have disappeared during last three decades. “They were arrested in a broad daylight and no one knows their whereabouts. Their families are living a life of unending miseries and facing challenges at every front of life. They have been reduced to living corpses,” he said.
“During the last few decades, India forces in order to suppress the freedom struggle of Kashmiris resorted to various inhuman tactics and killing to death while subjecting to custodial torture is one among them.”
Referring to thousands of unmarked graves across Valley particularly in south Kashmir, the spokesperson said the world community should take notice of it and pressurise India to reveal the identities of those buried. “It is unfortunate that the international community despite being aware of the reality isn’t taking any action,” he said.
“More than one lakh orphans and 25,000 widows in Kashmir is a human tragedy and the need of the hour is that human rights bodies fulfill their responsibilities in finding out the truth and reasons behind such tragedies and provide justice to the victims,” the spokesperson said.