500 Families Seek DNA Tests On Unmarked Graves In Kashmir

500 Families Seek DNA Tests On Unmarked Graves In Kashmir

30 August 2012
Deccan Herald
Zulfikar Majid

Srinagar: On the occasion of International Day of the Disappeared, more than 500 families of disappeared persons in Jammu and Kashmir filed cases before State Human Rights Commission seeking that DNA tests be conducted on the unmarked graves in north Kashmir. On Thursday, families of the victims also appealed to international rights groups to constitute a team to conduct a probe into enforced disappearances and those buried in hundreds of unmarked graves. The initiative comes in the backdrop of the state government’s refusal to exhume bodies in unmarked graves and carry out DNA tests to ascertain their identity. The SHRC in a startling revelation in 2011 had stated that it has found 2,730 bodies dumped in unmarked graves in four different districts of the state. However, the government recently told the SHRC that their investigations revealed that all the people buried in unmarked graves are local and foreign militants, without offering any proof. Chief minister Omar Abdullah had last year in the state Assembly supported the call to constitute Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and conducting the DNA profiling of bodies in unmarked graves. A human right activists and co-ordinator of coalition of civil societies, Khurram Pervez, in a statement claimed that government was not investigating the discovery of unmarked graves properly. “The Jammu and Kashmir government does not want to lift the lid on the heinous crimes perpetrated by army and paramilitary forces in Kashmir,” he alleged.