Rights group in Indian Kashmir seeks probe into unmarked mass graves

December 3rd, 2009 - 4:08 pm ICT by ANI  

Srinagar, Dec. 3 (ANI): A local rights group here has demanded an impartial probe into the unearthing of 2,700 unmarked graves found by it during a survey.

In the last three years, the International People’s Tribunal (IPT) on Human Rights and Justice has uncovered the unidentified bodies buried close to the Line of Control, the military control line dividing Kashmir between India and Pakistan.

About 180 graves held two or more bodies, said the report, which surveyed 55 villages.

“We want the international community and the Indian state and society to understand what this issue is, why such crimes were committed to suppress the people who demanded something which is as democratic and peaceful as right of self determination,” said Gautam Navlakha, IPT convenor, while releasing the report titled ‘Buried Evidence’.

“And, in the course of which these war crimes were committed, we want accountability for that,” Navlakha added.

The IPT estimates around 8,000 people went missing during the nearly two-decade-old separatist revolt in Kashmir, and says many of the missing could have ended up in these unmarked graves.

In the past, Indian security forces have been accused of murdering innocent civilians in staged gun battles and passing them off as separatist militants to earn rewards and promotions.

Officials say over 47,000 people have been killed since an anti-India insurgency broke out in 1989 in the disputed Himalayan region. Separatists put the toll at nearly 100,000. (ANI)

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