The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) appreciates the efforts taken by the State Human Rights Commission of Jammu and Kashmir in conducting an enquiry and filing a report concerning the mass graves in the state. The 17-page report of the Commission’s special investigation team, headed by a Senior Superintendent of Police, reveals that 2,730 unidentified bodies are found buried in 38 sites in north Kashmir’s Bandipore, Baramulla, and Kupwara districts. This could of course just be a fraction of the real number of persons, reportedly disappeared or killed and buried, in unmarked or marked graves spread across the state. The question is, now that the Commission has filed its report, what will be done next?
On August 15 this year, the Union Defence Minister, Mr A K Anthony, urged the country’s defence units to protect and respect human rights. Given the track record of the defence units stationed in states like Jammu and Kashmir and Manipur, the Defence Minister’s speech can only be viewed as an acknowledgment of the fact that human rights violations by the army units is a matter of concern for the government. . .