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APDP: Press Release

ASSOCIATION OF PARENTS OF DISAPPEARED PERSONS

 

The Bund Amira Kadal, Srinagar – 190001, Jammu and Kashmir



Date: 28th May 2011

Press Release

 

Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) today submitted 1417cases to Chief Minister Omar Abdullah. This is a preliminary list of cases of enforced disappearances documented by APDP. According to conservative estimates more than 8000 people have been subjected to enforced disappearances in Jammu and Kashmir since 1989.

 

The process of documentation of all cases of enforced disappearances is an enormous task. Several human rights issues compete for attention in the Valley and a census survey of Valley-wide ‘disappearances’ has not been possible since civil society organizations such as APDP are under-resourced. But the government would be grossly amiss to squander resources to contest mere statistics rather than providing justice to the victims of enforced disappearances.

 

It is clear from the data submitted to the Chief Minister that enforced disappearances in Kashmir remain unabated and unaddressed. Today we submitted 1417 cases with a demand to the government to appoint independent and impartial investigation into the cases of enforced disappearances. We urge the Jammu and Kashmir government to inform the family members of the disappeared regarding the fate and whereabouts of their loved ones. The demand for appointing an independent investigation into the cases of enforced disappearances comes in the wake of total failure of judicial and administrative mechanisms for redressal. Whether in registering an FIR or seeking sanction for prosecution under Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), relatives of the disappeared have faced a hostile system at every level. Further, delay and non-compliance with court orders are the rule rather than the exception in Jammu and Kashmir.

 

Successive governments have been issuing contradictory statements regarding enforced disappearances in Jammu and Kashmir. On 18th July 2002, the then Home Minister of National Conference government, Mr. Khalid Najeeb Suharwardy said that 3184 persons were missing since 1989. On 11th June 2003, the Peoples’ Democratic Party led government claimed 3744 persons are ‘missing’ in Jammu and Kashmir since 1989 and later on 21st June 2003 the government stated that 3931 persons are ‘missing.’ Mr. Omar Abdullah stated in a 2nd May 2008 press conference that 4000 persons have disappeared. This statement came when Mr. Abdullah was in the opposition.

 

We urge the government and its institutions to end the period of uncertainty for the family members of the disappeared. The government must clarify the identity of these ‘missing persons’ referred to in its various contradictory estimates. The government so far has not brought into the public domain the list of these ‘missing persons’ and nor has it revealed the action taken in each case.

 

The list of 1417 cases submitted today should not be construed by anyone as part of a blame game or propaganda against any party or agency. It is an effort to galvanize the State government and encourage it to lay out a mechanism for positive action towards justice and accountability.

 

Spokesperson

Ghulam Nabi Mir

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