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Thousands of bodies buried in unmarked graves in Kashmir

The state commission has called for a thorough and independent investigation which will help identify bodies found at 38 sites in northern Kashmir.

A man walks past photos of missing people during a demonstration organised by the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons last month.
A man walks past photos of missing people during a demonstration organised by the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons last month.
Image: AP Photo/Mukhtar Khan

THOUSANDS OF BODIES were buried in unmarked graves at 38 sites in northern Kashmir, according to a state human rights commission investigation.

Following its three-year investigation, the commission says that over 2,700 bodies have been buried in mass graves. Of those bodies, 574 have been identified as locals, according to the Times of India.

The Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission called for a thorough investigating by an impartial agency into the graves. It also said that such an inquiry should not be limited to the northern region of Kashmir, “but across the state wherever such unmarked graves exist”.

It said that police initially claimed the bodies belonged to unidentified militants and gave them to locals for burial, but some of these locals were able to identify the remains. DNA profiling should be used to identify those who are still unnamed, according to the inquiry.

Pakistan’s The Nation reports that there are calls for such an independent investigation to be carried out by the United Nations, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

Insurgents fought for independence in this region, which is claimed by both India and Pakistan, during a fierce uprising in the early 1990s. Thousands have gone missing, with some presumed killed and others presumed captured. The Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons continues to lobby for information about those who have gone missing in ‘enforced disappearances’.

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