Kashmiris Await Justice for Thousands that Disappeared, Forcibly Taken
Somewhere between 8,000 and 10,000 residents of Indian-occupied Kashmir have been forcibly disappeared over the last 25 years.
The people of Jammu and Kashmir are victims of Indian military occupation and a political conflict between their occupier and its long-time foe, Pakistan. On Thursday the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons in Indian Occupied Kashmir paid tribute to those who have been lost, but far from conceding defeat its members declared: “Our existence is our resistance.”
Dec. 10 is world Human Rights Day. The 10th of each month is also when the members of APDP gather to remember their lost loved ones and demand the “return our disappeared children,” the group said in a press release.
“APDP demands an acknowledgement from the Indian state that they have committed crimes against humanity, which will be an important step forward to get an assurance for its non-repetition and for prosecuting those who are guilty.”
Thousands have been killed in the Kashmir conflict, with Indian authorities effectively ending democracy there in the late 1980s, spurring an armed insurgency, with elections considered free and fair only returning in 2008. Though less violent today, those affected by the conflict insist they have been denied justice.
“There was a complete denial on part of the detaining authorities of having taken my son,” said Abdul Ahad. His son was picked up by police in 1991 and has never been seen again, his attempts to discover his child’s whereabouts leading only to the authorities filing a report accusing the disappeared of involvement in terrorism. “Consequently,” said Ahad, “the whereabouts of my son remain unknown even after 24 years.”
Despite the numbers of dead and missing and often anti-democratic nature of the occupying regime, Kashmir largely escapes the attention of the international media, one of many conflicts deemed too complicated to cover.
“India, being a growing regional power, with an increasingly free market open to the United States and other such states, has been emboldened by foreign powers,” Parvez Imroz, director of the Jammu & Kashmir Coalition of Civil Societ, told journalist Andre Vltchek earlier this year.
“The army since 1989 has resorted to war crimes as they have been given legal impunity, and seldom have any armed personnel been punished for crimes against humanity,” said Imroz. “The systematic disappearances, mass graves and torture have been completely ignored by the Indian and international media.”
APDP would like that to change, the organization is “appealing to the international community to act as pressure groups upon the Indian state to take note of the situation and take corrective measures to render justice.”
Originally published by teleSUR
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