DNA profiling of persons buried in unmarked graves in Jammu and Kashmir would be conducted, chief minister Omar Abdullah announced in the assembly on Tuesday, after opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) had staged a walkout over the issue.
The PDP walked out after speaker Mohammad Akbar Lone rejected its adjournment motion for discussing the issue of unmarked graves and delay in probing the killings during last year’s summer unrest.
Abdullah asked relatives of people who had disappeared to give blood samples. But he cautioned, “Every missing person is not dead. Some people who have been declared missing are living across the border.”
A state human rights commission report in August had brought to light the presence of the unmarked graves. According to the report, more than 2,000 unidentified bodies are buried in the graves in 38 sites in north Kashmir.
The commission has asked the state government to conduct DNA profiling of the bodies in the unmarked graves and match them with people whose relatives had disappeared over the last 20 years.
The commission has also asked the government to probe the presence of over 3,000 unmarked graves in Poonch and Rajouri in Jammu region.
It has also recommended the formation of an independent and structured body to look into all aspects of the unmarked graves. Abdullah said the commission’s recommendations would not be ignored.
He said some unmarked graves contained the bodies of foreign militants. “Out of over 2,100 unmarked graves in Poonch, 2,090 contain bodies of foreign militants whose identity could not be ascertained at all for years.”