Unmarked graves call for Truth and Reconciliation Commission: Omar
Unified Command To Discuss Issue Today
Srinagar, Aug 22: Day after an inquiry by State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) revealed that more than 2000 unknown bodies were buried in 38 graveyards across Kashmir, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Monday said there is a need for setting up of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) to go to the genesis of all the human rights violations that have taken place in the state during the past two-decades.
“We also want to know who have been buried in these graves,” Omar told reporters on the sidelines of a function organised in connection with the inauguration of floating post office/museum at Dal Lake here. Union Minister for IT and Communication, Sachin Pilot and Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy, Farooq Abdullah were also present on the occasion. The chief minister also flagged off a mobile post van.
Omar said he has stated it before and after forming the government that there is a need to set up TRC which should be given the mandate to seek answers to all incidents (of human right violations) whether carried out by militants or security forces during past 21 years.
“We will also want that the question raised by the SHRC on the graves should get answers. The Unified Command is meeting tomorrow and possibly it (unmarked graves issue) will be on the agenda,” Omar said.
He had raised the issue for setting up the TRC while campaigning for 2008 assembly election. After forming the government Omar said the Commission will not be possible without support from the government of India.
According to SHRC, three years of investigative work by senior officials at the Commission, have discovered that hundreds of men branded as unidentified militants were buried in unmarked graves in the border districts of Kupwara, Baramulla and Bandipora.
As per the report out of more than 2,000 graves, 574 were identified that of local residents.
“There is every probability that these unidentified dead bodies buried in various unmarked graves at 38 places of North Kashmir may contain the dead bodies of those believed to be the cases of enforced disappearances,” the report said.
The report catalogues 2,156 bodies found in graves in four districts of Kashmir that had been at the heart of the insurgency. SHRC called for a thorough inquiry and collection of DNA evidence to identify the dead, and urged that anyone killed by security forces in Kashmir in the future be properly identified to avoid abuse of special laws shielding the military.
Asked whether Gurez infiltration bid in which 12 militants and a Army officer were killed was unexpected, Omar said, “It was not unexpected. Gurez is an infiltration route. Last year in August also infiltration happened although not of this scale.”
On corruption and Anna Hazare’s campaign he said, “The State Accountability Commission has been revived and empowered to look into complaints against public figures including ministers and the chief minister. Similarly, Vigilance Commission is being modified. Low level corruption has been controlled.”
Earlier, Omar said the tourism industry was picking up slowly in Kashmir. “Kashmir is witnessing a good tourist season this year and we hope it will continue for coming years,” Omar said.
Speaking on the occasion, Sachin Pilot said the inauguration of Post Office and mail vain is a “unique initiative” in itself. “It is a small beginning,” Pilot said.
He said JK will be provided all facilities in field of IT and Communication.
He said all the post offices will be computerized in JK along with other states, adding that his ministry has approached RBI seeking approval for facilities like banking to modernize the system.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 22 Aug 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 22 Aug 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 23 Aug 2011 00:00:00 IST
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