Nearly 17000 Civilians, 21500 Militants Killed In 22 Years: Govt

Nearly 17000 Civilians, 21500 Militants Killed In 22 Years: Govt

3 July 2012
Rising Kashmir
Tawseef Ahmad

Srinagar: At least 40,000 people, including 16901 civilians and 21449 militants, have been killed in the last 22 years of armed conflict in Jammu and Kashmir. The figures were released by the government in response to a petition filed by the local human rights campaigning group, Coalition of Civil Society (CCS) before State Human Rights Commission (SHRC). The government has also admitted to the presence of 2080 unmarked graves (1486 in Poonch and 594 in Rajouri district). According to the information furnished by the state home department, a copy of which is available with Rising Kashmir, 21449 militants have been killed so far. “The total number of civilians killed is 16901 of which 13246 were killed in militancy related incidents. 3655 civilians were killed while maintaining law and order.” The number of militants and other suspects arrested in the last 20 years is 13246. According to home department, 3866 paramilitary and other force personnel were killed. “Of this, 922 were policemen, 477 SPOs and 131 were VDCs. The total number of security personnel killed is 5396.” As per the government statistics, 22088 civilians and 12947 security force personnel were injured in last two decades. About the unmarked graves in Rajouri and Poonch districts of Jammu region besides Kashmir region, the government maintains, “There are 1486 unidentified graves in Poonch and 594 in Rajouri district. The total number of such graves is 2080.” Rejecting the official figures, CCS claims there are 90 spots in Poonch alone comprising 2717 graves while in Rajouri there are 118 spots having 1127 unidentified graves. The CCS maintains that more than 70,000 people, including militants, have died in last 22 years. Terming the figures as misleading, CCS said they had given the government break-up of the spots of graves in the twin districts of Poonch and Rajouri to which the home department has not paid any attention. “We had informed them about 90 spots in Poonch and 118 spots in Rajouri where 2717 and 1127 bodies lay buried respectively,” said Parvez Imroz of CCS. The home department reply states that police could not keep record of all the militants. “The police could not prepare and maintain identification profile of slain militants for the simple reason that these militants were operating in the areas other than their native places and most of them were foreign terrorists and were operating under a code name.” However, CCS says police should have kept record of each and every individual dead. “If they could not collect DNA samples, at least they should have kept the identity and taken the photographs of the dead,” said Imroz. The human rights group said the home department has not provided any information regarding the custodial killings. CCS said its stand on unmarked graves has been vindicated by the home department figures. Meanwhile, the rights group is going to file a rejoinder to get the desired information. “We will file a rejoinder to get the information about the presence of mass graves in the twin districts of Poonch and Rajouri. We will ask SHRC to conduct an independent inquiry in a very transparent manner as the situation is of grave nature,” said Imroz.