Majid Kapra

APDP faction seeks whereabouts of disappeared persons

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Calls for DNA profiling to ascertain identity of those buried in unmarked graves

Srinagar, Apr 28: Association of the Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP), an organization seeking whereabouts of those subjected to enforced disappearances in Kashmir, held monthly sit-in here today, demanding DNA sampling of unmarked graves.

Protesters, mainly females from different parts of the Valley, carrying placards in their hands which read “what lies beneath, stop enforced disappearances” assembled at Press Enclave here to highlight their concerns vis-à-vis enforced disappearances of their kin.

The protesting APDP members sought intervention of international community to unveil the mystery behind thousands of unmarked graves in Kashmir.

They asked the government to use DNA profiling to ascertain and reveal the identity of those buried in the unmarked graves across Kashmir.

“We have been protesting for years now, but government has never been serious,  nor is it making any efforts to trace those who have disappeared at the hands of different government agencies operating in the state,” said Tahira Tariq, chairperson of this faction of APDP from north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.

She said her husband Tariq Ahmad Lone, who was a mason at URI Civil, left his home for work in 2002 but has not returned since. “At that time he was only 22. I lodged a missing report with police besides checking every forces’ camp and detention centre but failed to trace him.”

Tahira said like her there are thousands of women in Kashmir living as half-widows as their husbands were subjected to enforced disappearances.

“It seems that getting justice is impossible given the present circumstances. But we will protest and demand whereabouts of our missing family members as long as we are alive,” she added.

She said that the government in order to come to the conclusion with regards to unmarked graves should collect DNA samples of dead bodies buried inside them.

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