The Kashmir Cause Screen Shot 2014-05-30 at 11.31.49 PM

Published on June 12th, 2011 | by ksc

Where are our dead ones?

Where are our dear ones?

Enforced Disappearances in Kashmir
— a serious human rights violation

Public Meeting
Venue: Long Room Hub, TCD, Dublin
Time: Wednesday, 14th September 2011, 6:30PM

Parveena Ahangar,
President Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons, Kashmir

Dr. Mridu Rai
Lecturer in Indian Studies, Trinity College, Dublin
Author, Hindu Rulers, Muslim Subjects: Islam, Rights and the History of Kashmir

[  For more information please contact: Sandeep Vaidya (0868512341),
Mridu Rai (0851807904),  Also ]

Enforced Disappearance is abduction or kidnapping, carried out by State
agents, or organized groups and individuals who act with State support
or tolerance, in which the victim “disappears”. Authorities neither
accept responsibility for the dead, nor account for the whereabouts of
the victim. Legal recourse including petitions of habeas corpus, remain
ineffective. Enforced Disappearance is a serious violation of
fundamental human rights. Enforced disappearance entails torture not
only of the disappeared person but of the families of the disappeared as
well. The victim is deprived of all rights and means of protection and
the family and relations are left in a state of uncertainty, tossed
between hope and despair. They can neither mourn nor find peace or
closure.The objective of Enforced disappearances is to cripple and
paralyze dissent and resistance. The unknown but terrible fate of the
victim and the realization that anybody can be picked up and subjected
to Enforced Disappearance creates terror and insecurity in the society
as a whole.
In Jammu and Kashmir Enforced Disappearances started in 1989, when a
group of young men took up arms against the Indian state under the
banner of “Azaadi” that is freedom. The armed uprising was in support of
the popular movement for self determination in Kashmir which began in
1947 after the creation of India and Pakistan.

Kashmir is perhaps today the most militarized zone in the world. Over
700,000 Indian army and paramiliatary personnel are deployed not only on
the borders but in every street and town square, every village and
hamlet. This massive military presence is backed by highly repressive
laws like the Jammu and Kashmir Armed Forces Special Powers Act, Jammu
and Kashmir Public Safety Act, National Security Act, which provide
legal immunity to armed forces and the police against prosecution. This
has spawned a culture of impunity for all security forces to commit
widespread and systematic human rights violations The violations cover
the entire range disappearances, murder, torture, arbitrary detention at
secret interrogation centres, rape and sexual assault, burning or
destruction of houses and crops, forced labour, use of civilians as
human shields, targeting of human rights defenders, custodial and
extra-judicial killings euphemistically referred to as encounter
killings, indiscriminate firing on civilians or unarmed demonstrators,
the recruitment and training of counter-insurgency death-squads known by
a variety of euphemisms renegades, Ikhwanis, Special Task Force, Special
Operations Groups .

Family members of the disappeared persons in Kashmir have spent vast
sums of money, time, resources and energy chasing the mirage of justice
in India. The legal system has systematically failed to provide any
justice to the victims. The Association of Parents of Disappeared
Persons (APDP) is an association of the relatives of the victims of
Enforced Disappearances in Jammu and Kashmir come together to seek
justice and to get information on the whereabouts of their disappeared
relative. APDP was founded in 1994 by Parveena Ahangar, supported by
lawyers and human rights activists in Kashmir. In 1991 Parveena`s son
Javaid Ahangar was abducted by Indian security forces and never heard of

This was the beginning of her long and continuing battle to trace
her son. She went from police station to police station, interrogation
centre to interrogation centre, camp to camp, hospital to hospital
looking for him. She met many others like her who were also searching
for their loved ones. Parveena opened her home to them where they would
bond together, share their grief and their meals, draw their strength
and set out on their search together. In 2008 Parveena Ahanger,
President APDP visited Geneva to attend the 86th Session of the United
Nations Working Group on Involuntary Enforced Disappearances,(WGIED) to
present the stories of the disappeared in Kashmir. In 2011, Parveena
Ahangar was one of the six finalists nominated for the Frontline
Defenders Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk.

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