Protest in J-K over unmarked graves

July 14th, 2008 - 9:40 pm ICT by ANI  

Srinagar, July 14 (ANI): Activists of the Hurriyat Conference, a separatist group in Jammu and Kashmir, staged a demonstration in Srinagar today demanding a probe into the ”unmarked graves” issue while alleging human rights violations in the State.

The protesters demanded the intervention of the United Nations (UN) to identify over a thousand unmarked graves in cemeteries in 18 villages close to the Line of Control, which divides India and Pakistan.

With placards reading ‘’stop human rights violation” and ‘’stop harassing youths”, the protesters staged a peaceful demonstration.

“We appreciate the decision of the European Union regarding the unmarked graves. It has been so many years since these unmarked graves have not been identified,” said Zaffer Ahmad Bhat, a senior Hurriyat Conference leader.

The Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) alleged that up to 10,000 people are estimated to have gone missing following their arrest by security forces during a two-decade-old separatist revolt in Jammu and Kashmir, and said many of the missing could have ended up in these unmarked graves.

Authorities in Jammu and Kashmir have denied the allegations, saying such reports were intended to malign Indian security forces. According to authorities, separatist militants have kidnapped and murdered people.

Amnesty International has appealed to Indian authorities to urgently investigate unmarked graves in J-K.

Officials say violence has declined in J-K since India and Pakistan, who have gone to war twice over the region, launched a peace process in 2004. (ANI)

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