SRINAGAR, June 4: The J&K State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) has received a petition asking it to reinvestigate 2,683 FIRs regarding unmarked graves.
The Association of Parents of Disappeared Peoples (APDP), a human rights group which filed the petition, said in a statement: ’We have
received 2,683 FIRs from the Baramulla, Kupwara and Bandipora districts of North Kashmir.
‘We are (trying) to secure information about similar FIRs from the other 17 districts of the state.’
The APDP claims over 8,000 people have been subjected to ‘enforced disappearance’ – when a person is secretly imprisoned or killed by the state or an organisation but the organisation does not admit to the act, thereby denying the victim the protection of law – in J&K.
The association wants the SHRC to ascertain how many dead bodies were registered in the FIRs and identification of the places of burial of these unidentified people. The APDP has also sought information about the procedure which was followed in the burial.
‘We have asked for information on whether the identification profile was maintained for these unidentified persons registered in the FIRs,’ it said.
On September 16, 2011, the SHRC’s division bench had recommended the creation of ‘an independent duly representative structured body’ to probe the issue of unmarked graves and missing persons.
The same day, the SHRC ordered the deputy commissioners of Poonch and Rajouri to produce factual reports about the presence of unmarked graves in their districts. The reports haven’t been produced so far.
On October 17, 2011, the APDP sought information about the unmarked as well as other graves across all of J&K. Its statement said: ‘Initially, the criminal investigation department of the J&K Police refused to provide such information stating that disclosure of information would be prejudicial to the maintenance of public peace and tranquillity as antinational elements may use the same for incitement.
‘But the first appellant authority rejected the CID’s contention. Now, with copies of the FIRs, the APDP has questioned the police’s previous assertion about the unmarked graves.
‘In the report of the inquiry conducted by the police investigation wing of the SHRC, the Kashmir police stated there are only 464
unidentified graves in North Kashmir. But records recently acquired through the RTI procedure suggest that 2,683 FIRs are filed in various police stations of Baramulla, Kupwara and Bandipora.
‘We urge the SHRC to call for all the records pertaining to these FIRs in Baramulla, Kupwara and Bandipora districts, including the copies of the FIRs, closure reports, chargesheets, case diaries if any, postmortem reports, medico legal opinions and inquest reports, if
In February 2008, Mail Today was the first newspaper to report about the presence of unmarked graves in the Valley.