IPTK takes Kashmir’s unmarked graves to UN

March 19, 2010 10:10 pm 

SRINAGAR, India, March 19 -– International People’s Tribunal for Human Rights and Justice called for an independent inquiry for 8000 enforced disappearances in Kashmir.

A preliminary report on the unmarked and mass graves found in the border districts of Kashmir was presented at a sidebar event of the United Nations Council of Human Rights at Geneva by the International Peoples’ Tribunal for Human Rights and Justice (IPTK) on Wednesday, calling for an independent inquiry into over 8000 enforced disappearances in Kashmir since 1989.

The report titled Buried Evidence presented by the IPTK co-convenor, Anjana Chatterji, documents 2,700 unknown, unmarked, and mass graves, containing over 2,943 bodies, across 55 villages in Bandipora, Baramulla, and Kupwara districts of Kashmir, based on applied research conducted between November 2006-November 2009.

According to the IPTK, the graveyards entomb bodies of those murdered in encounter and fake encounter killings between 1990-2009.

These graves include bodies of extrajudicial, summary, and arbitrary executions, and massacres committed by the Indian military and paramilitary forces.

Chatterji, who spoke on behalf of the IPTK and her co-convenor, Pervez Imroz who could not make it to Geneva as authorities here had refused him a passport, said that independent investigations must be undertaken in Indian administered Kashmir, across all 10 districts, to inquire into if and how over 8,000 enforced disappearances since 1989 correlate with the number of bodies in unknown, unmarked, and mass graves.

“The existence of these graves, and how they came to be, may be understood as indicative of the effects and issue of militarization, and the issues pertaining to militarization,” Chatterji said.

“Evidence from these graves must be used to seek justice, through the sentencing of criminals and other judicial and social processes,” she said.

“The cessation of violence and cruelty must be prioritized in Kashmir, and violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, including crimes against humanity, be addressed,” she said. (PNA/IRNA)

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