Srinagar: In Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, thousands of Kashmiri youth have been subjected to enforced disappearance during custody by Indian troops and police over the last thirty two years.
According to a report released by the Research Section of the Kashmir Media Service on the occasion of the International Day of Disappeared, today, Jammu and Kashmir being the most militarized zone in the world has witnessed killings, enforced disappearances, torture, rape and other brutalities by the Indian forces over the last three decades. At least 8,000 innocent civilians vanished in the Indian military and police custody after they were picked up by the Indian troops, police and paramilitary personnel since 1989.
The intensified Indian military crackdown operations and the rising numbers of extra-judicial, custodial and fake encounter killings in IIOJK are part of the extremist anti-Muslim and anti-Kashmir designs of the “Hindutva” inspired BJP-RSS combine in India. Ironically, Kashmiri youth have been a specific target of over one million Indian military and paramilitary occupation forces deployed in the occupied territory.
The report revealed that the families and relatives of victims of the enforced disappearances have been working tirelessly to trace their missing ones. Also the families of the disappeared people suffer economically because in most cases, the breadwinner of the family was targeted.
The report maintained that disappearances not only silence opponents but also create uncertainty and fear in the wider community. This inhuman, savage and insensate act has been committed by all the tributaries of the so-called security apparatus comprising Indian army, paramilitary forces, and special task forces as well as counterinsurgents working under the superintendence, control and direction of the armed forces.
The cruel practice of enforced disappearances has given rise to a new class of people called half-widows and half orphans, now common phrases used in Kashmir. The impunity provided to the troops through draconian laws like Disturbed Areas Act, Armed Forces Special Powers Act, Public Safety Act, and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act gave them the license to kill, terrorize, arrest, harass and silence the people and snatch, siege and ransack their property without being questioned.
The family members of the disappeared persons talking to the media persons said that their dear ones had been subjected to enforced disappearances by the Indian forces and their related agencies after picking them up from their homes, streets and even roads.
Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) leader, Parveena Ahangar, on the occasion demanded that India must fulfill its obligations under international human rights laws.
Meanwhile, APHC spokesman and APHC leader, Zamrooda Habib, Yasmeen Raja, Fareeda Behanji, and several other organizations in their statements in Srinagar expressed solidarity with the families of the enforced disappeared persons. They appealed to the world community to play its role in tracing the whereabouts of the thousands of enforced disappeared Kashmiris.
They appealed to the United Nations Secretary General and the civilized members of the world community to take serious cognizance of genocide of the Kashmiri people at the hands of Indian occupation forces in Kashmir. They called upon the world to fulfill its commitment to the people of Jammu and Kashmir that they would be granted the right to decide their political future through a free and fair plebiscite in accordance with the United Nations Security Council resolutions.
Meanwhile, Pakistan reiterated its call for investigation of extra-judicial killings in IIOJK by establishing an Independent Commission of Inquiry as recommended by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in its Kashmir reports of 2018 and 2019. International community should hold India accountable for its brazen suppression of innocent Kashmiris and play its due role in ensuring a just and peaceful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the wishes of the Kashmiri people.