Thursday, 25 April 2013

Mirwaiz asks UN, intl groups to probe unmarked graves in JK
Srinagar, April 19: The Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq Friday appealed United Nations and other international groups to probe presence of unmarked graves in the Valley on the pattern of investigations conducted in Bosnia and Chechnya.
“About 9500 people have disappeared in the Valley so far. United Nations, Asia Watch, International Court of Justice, Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) and other international groups should probe presence of unmarked graves in the Valley.  They should investigate who are buried in these unmarked graves,” Mirwaiz said while addressing Friday congregational prayers at historic Jamia Masjid.

He said investigation on the pattern of Bosnia and Chechnya should be conducted to reveal identity of the people buried in these unmarked graves.  Urging United Nations to thoroughly investigate all enforced disappearance cases in the State, Hurriyat (M) chief said, “We have no faith in Indian judicial system. International organizations should come forward and probe all the aspects regarding unmarked graves”. He said it is the right of people to know all details of unmarked graves. “We have the right to know the identity of the people buried in these graves. The relatives of the disappeared people are still waiting for them. Haven’t they a right to know the identity of people buried in these graves,” he said.
Earlier, International Peoples’ Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice, a human rights watchdog in its report ‘Buried Evidence: Unknown, Unmarked, and Mass Graves” had claimed to have to found 2700 unmarked and mass graves  in 55 villages in north Kashmir, which contained 2943 bodies. The government had last year admitted presence of unmarked graves in Poonch and Rajouri districts by stating that there were 1486 such graves in Poonch and 594 in Rajouri.

Criticizing reluctance of government in conducting DNA test of those buried in the unmarked graves, Mirwaiz said Indian civil society should come forward and not shy away under the garb of national interest.

He also expressed concern over harassment being meted out to Kashmiris in different parts of India. .  “Kashmiris whether he is a trader, businessman, student is being harassed in every part of India. CID, police and other agencies are creating problems for the people of the valley. It is very unfortunate that people of Kashmir especially youth are being implicated in false cases and made to serve their life in jails. When authorities have nothing to prove against them, they are again booked under another false case”.

Citing an example of Latief Ahmad Waza, Mirwaiz said he has been in jail for last 16 years after being falsely implicated in Lajpat Nagar blast case. “He was tortured for reading Holy Quran in the jail. It is the violation of basic human rights,” he said. Alleging that prisoners of Valley are being denied basic facilities, he asked Government of India (GoI) to fulfill their obligations under Geneva Convention and provide adequate facilities to prisoners.

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