Over 8,000 Kashmiris disappeared in custody in IIOJK

ISLAMABAD, Aug 30 (APP): Indian troops while using enforced disappearance as a strategy to spread terror, subjected thousands of Kashmiris to custodial disappearance in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) during last thirty years.

According to a report released by Kashmir Media Service on Sunday, on the occasion of the International Day of Disappeared, being the most militarized zone in the world, Jammu and Kashmir has witnessed killings, enforced disappearances, torture cases, rapes and other brutalities by the Indian forces over decades.

Over 8,000 vanished only in the custody after they were picked up by the Indian troops, police and paramilitary forces since 1990.

The report revealed that more than 200,000 relatives of victims of enforced disappearances have been working tirelessly to trace their missing ones. Also the families of those the disappeared people suffer economically because in most cases, the breadwinner of the family is targeted.

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The report maintained that disappearances not only silence opponents but also create uncertainty and fear in the wider community.

This inhuman, savage and insensate act has been committed by all the tributaries of so-called security apparatus comprising Army, Paramilitary forces, and special task forces as well as counter insurgents working under the superintendence, control and direction of the security forces.

The cruel practice of enforced disappearances has given rise to a new class of people called half-widows and half orphans which are now common phrases used in Kashmir.

The impunity provided to the troops and police personnel through draconian laws like Armed Forces Special Powers Act, Disturbed Areas Act and Public Safety Act gave them the licence to kill and harass people and ransack their possession without being questioned and the tragedy is that burden of proof is shifted on the victims.

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Hurriyat leaders and human rights activists including Abdul Qadeer Dar, Muhammad Ahsan Untoo, Zamrooda Habib, Yasmeen Raja, Fareeda Behanji, Shabbir Ahmad Dar, Muhammad Iqbal Mir, Ghulam Nabi War and Khurram Pervez in their statements in Srinagar expressed solidarity with families of enforced disappeared persons.

Rights activist Khurram Pervez in a tweet said, forgetting the disappeared would be complicity with criminals who want us to forget those who should never be forgotten. “Remembering the disappeared is a tribute we must pay to our heroes”, he added.