Human Rights

International Day of Disappeared: APDP appeals to SHRC for recommended implementations on unmarked, mass graves

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APDP during a protest on August 30th, 2017

Srinagar: The Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) on Saturday appealed to the the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) to litigate the matter before the J&K High Court for implementation of its recommendation on unmarked and mass graves.

“The State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) from time to time has conducted detailed inquiries into the unknown, unmarked and mass graves (in 5 districts of Jammu and Kashmir) and also looking into more than 650 cases of enforced disappearances submitted by APDP.  Despite SHRC’s repeated directions and recommendations for comprehensive forensic investigation including DNA (Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid) testing into unmarked and mass graves, the government failed to comply and implement any of the recommendations. APDP on August 8, 2018, moved an application to the SHRC and urged SHRC to take up the matter in the High Court,” the spokesperson  in a statement said.

“Families of the disappeared have neither been able to get emotional closure nor the legal closure. Therefore, due to the nature of the continuing crime, it is incumbent on SHRC to play a role in accordance with its mandate and responsibility towards the victims of state violence,” it added.

It also appealed to the United Nations Office of High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR) to remind the UN Human Rights Council ‘to consider establishing a commission of inquiry to conduct a comprehensive independent international investigation into all the allegations of human rights violations including enforced disappearance in Jammu and Kashmir’.

Further, the government of India must be urged to ratify International Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, legislate against the crime of enforced disappearances and provide truth, justice and reparations to all the victims of enforced disappearances,” it stated.

Moreover, it stated that it was unable to commemorate the International Day of the Disappeared as there had been a general strike on the 30th of August, 2018.

The strike was carried out in wake of the Supreme Court of India’s decision to hear the petitions challenging Article 35-A. Later on the 31st, it adjourned the hearing till January next year. This came after Jammu and Kashmir government approached the SC seeking adjournment of the hearing.

People across the political and regional divide have come together to protest against attempts to revoke Article 35-A of the Indian Constitution which empowers the Jammu and Kashmir state’s legislature to define “permanent residents” of the state and provide special rights and privileges to those permanent residents.

The state government employees, trade unions, business associations, civil society groups and lawyers have threatened to go on protest if the special constitutional position of the state is compromised.

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