Unmarked graves: J&K court seeks status of DNA profiling in two weeks | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Unmarked graves: J&K court seeks status of DNA profiling in two weeks

chandigarh Updated: Mar 11, 2012 21:02 IST
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At a time when Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah pitched for a truth and reconciliation commission during the ongoing assembly session, the high court has asked the government to submit a report on the status of DNA profiling found in unmarked graves in north Kashmir within two weeks while hearing a petition on Friday.

Over 2,700 unmarked graves have been identified by an 11-member police investigation team of the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) in four districts of north Kashmir.

Despite claims of the local police that the graves contained dead bodies of "unidentified militants", the report points out that 574 bodies have been identified as disappeared locals.
The police report concludes that there is "every probability" that the remaining over 2,100 unidentified graves "may contain the dead bodies of (persons subject to) enforced disappearances."

On September 16, 2011 the SHRC directed that the bodies should be identified using all available means and techniques, including DNA profiling and dental examination, and other forensic pathology techniques.

Six months after the SHRC report, the high court on Friday last week admitted a petition filed by Zahoor Ahmad Mir, son of a person who disappeared a decade ago. Mir is seeking DNA profiling of all those buried in the unmarked graves.

"The government as usual has buried the SHRC judgment through delaying tactics to continue obfuscation. Obviously, for the family members of the disappeared knowing the truth regarding the whereabouts of their loved ones is the priority, but successive governments through their actions have expressed that justice and human rights is not their priority.

The judgment, however, is a welcome step," said Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) spokesman Yaseen Hassan Malik. The body is fighting for their dear ones who disappeared in the last two decades seeking a closure.

In the ongoing budget session of Jammu and Kashmir, chief minister Abdullah assured the house movement on truth and reconciliation commission through the home department. "The constitution of such a commission would require wider consultations and a broad consensus among all stakeholders, including the Government of India.

The government will look into all the aspects relating to the establishment of such a commission," the state home department informed the house on Saturday. The state government is mulling to approach the central government to pave way for the constitution of truth and reconciliation commission in Jammu and Kashmir.