Monday, August 22, 2011

2,000 bodies in Indian Kashmir unmarked graves - 22nd Aug 2011

Over 2,000 unidentified bodies have been buried in scores of unmarked graves in Indian Kashmir, according to the state human rights commission in the region roiled by a separatist insurgency.

Its report comes amid accusations that at least some of the bodies may be those of civilians who "disappeared" after being arrested by security forces fighting rebels in the Muslim-majority region.

"It is beyond doubt that unmarked graves containing unidentified bodies do exist at various places in north Kashmir," said the report by the commission, established by the government in 1997 to investigate human rights violations.

An independent group based in Srinagar, the International People's Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice (IPT), had in 2009 documented unidentified bodies buried in the region's northern villages.

Indian and international rights groups called for a probe into whether the unmarked graves held the remains of civilians who "disappeared" as Indian security forces battled the insurgency.

The IPT says 8,000 people have gone missing there during 20 years of rebellion, most of those after they were arrested by security personnel.

Indian officials have repeatedly claimed that those buried in unmarked graves were militants, most of those from Pakistan, who were killed in clashes with security forces. Read More