Thousands of disappeared Kashmiris are finally being found, but in the graves.
More than 2,000 bullet-ridden bodies have been discovered in the Indian-controlled region of Kashmir, the Associated Press reports.
One of the world’s most hostile areas, the battle for Kashmir between India and Pakistan, has accounted for more than 68,000 lives since rebel groups started their battle for an independent state in 1989.
According to the news report, the recent discovery of the mass grave in northern Kashmir leads to 2,156 unidentified bodies out of which 574 are believed to be of local residents.
Since the insurgency surged, between 1989-2009, according to Buried Evidence, a report by International People’s Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice in Indian-administered Kashmir, there have been cases of 8,000+enforced and involuntary disappearances and 70,000+ deaths through extrajudicial or “fake encounter” executions.
The report blames this as the “action of India’s military and paramilitary forces in Kashmir.”
According to an article in the US magazine Foreign Policy by Barshat Peer, who chronicled the Kashmir conflict in his book Curfewed Night, “the Buried Evidence report had raised slim hopes of an investigation into disappeared relatives, but the national and local governments ignored it.”
However, Omar Abdullah, Jammu and Kashmir’s Chief Minister, has said that DNA tests would be conducted on the recently discovered bodies.
“It’ll not happen overnight but a beginning can be made. It is not our intention to hide the truth,” Abdullah was quoted in the AP.