Kashmiris gather on International Day of Disappeared Persons
The Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) organised a sit-in today to mark the International Day of Disappeared Persons at a park in Srinagar. Several people from different fields joined the sit-in which included a number of students. Our photographer, Shahid Tantray captures the day.
Every month the families of disappeared persons gather in Srinagar to make their demands heard. They demand the whereabouts of their missing ones but so far both state and Indian government has been ignoring these demands.
The disappearance of many men who were married had given Kashmir a number of women who are called Half-Widows. These women doesn't know whether their husbands are alive or dead which has made half-widow as their identity.
Human Rights organizations put the figure of disappeared persons at 8000-10000. These are the persons who are involuntary missing and most of them were taken away by Indian forces or the local police. Families of the missing persons have been demanding to conduct the DNA tests of the skeletons in the unmarked graves as they believe their kins might had been killed and buried as unknown.
Father of Tufail Ahmed Mattoo (holding mic) along with father of Wamiq Farooq (on right). Tufail, 17-year-old student, was killed by a tear gas shell (fired by a policeman) which hit him in the head on June 11, 2010. Wamiq, 13, was killed by police on January 31, 2010.
Parveena Ahangar, is the Chairwoman of Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP). Seventeen-year-old, Javed Ahmad Ahangar, her son, has been missing since three officers took him away in August, 18, 1990.
Youth of Kashmir have taken up art as a medium of expression, from sketching to music- resistance art has evolved in Kashmir since the conflict started in this disputed land.
Around 500 families of disappeared persons in Jammu and Kashmir had filed cases before the state Human rights commission seeking that DNA tests be conducted on the thousands of unmarked graves found out in northern Kashmir. Govt concluded it saying all the people buried in unmarked graves are local and foreign militants.