Apart from the security forces, militants too are suspected to have a hand in the disappearance of people in Kashmir.
The Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons, an organisation formed by people whose relatives went missing during the violent years of the valley, on Saturday filed 132 cases of “involuntary disappearances” suspected to have been caused by the security forces and the Hizbul Mujahideen, a militant outfit, before the State Human Rights Commission on the International Day of Human Rights in Srinagar.
The cases relate to north Kashmir’s Banihal area.
This is for the first time that the APDP has approached the SHRC for disappearances allegedly caused by militants, particularly the indigenous and largest militant group Hizbul Mujahideen, headed by Syed Salahuddin in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
Among the 24 cases in which the militant hand is suspected, 10 have been allegedly caused by Hizbul Mujahideen militant Nazir Ahmed Wani alias Papplu, who was killed by his organisation itself.
“The cases we submitted to the SHRC are of the villagers of the Banihal area only. They disappeared since 1989 under various circumstances. Of the 132 cases, 21 have been perpetrated by the Indian army, 24 by different militant groups and one by the Jammu and Kashmir police,” APDP spokesman Yasin ul Hassan Malik told the Hindustan Times.
In 43 other cases, the perpetrators, according to the APDP, were unidentified gunmen and in the remaining cases the people disappeared in “unknown circumstances”.
“Some families have registered cases in their police stations while in many cases missing reports or complaints could not be filed due to the reluctance of police and sometimes due to threats to the victim families,” Malik said.
After initial hiccups, in September families of missing people in Kashmir said they would cooperate with the state government when it attempted to establish the identities of those lying in unmarked graves.