SHRC for DNA sampling of bodies in ‘2080’ unmarked graves in Poonch, Rajouri

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By Fast Kashmir on 02/11/2017.

SHRC for DNA sampling of bodies in ‘2080’ unmarked graves in Poonch, Rajouri

Srinagar, Nov 2: The State Human Rights Commission has ordered government to conduct DNA sampling of bodies in 2080 unidentified graves in Poonch and Rajouri districts of Jammu within six months.
“After reading this report (by government), I do not think this Commission needs to hold any further enquiry into the matter as the Home Department has accepted that there are 1486 graves in Poonch which are unidentified and unmarked. In Rajouri it is admitted there are 594 graves which are unmarked and unidentified, so in all in these two districts there are 2080 graves which are unmarked,” Chairperson of the Commission Justice Bilal Nazki said in an order on a petition titled Advocate Parvaiz Imroz and patron APDP regarding enforced disappearance and unmarked graves in the two districts of Jammu region.

In 2011, the SHRC’s Special Investigation Team revealed that 2,156 unidentified bodies were lying in mass graves in three districts of north Kashmir.
“There is every probability that these unidentified dead bodies buried in various unmarked graves at 38 places of North Kashmir may contain the dead bodies of those believed to be the cases of enforced disappearances,” an inquiry report by the Commission had said.
Subsequently, the SHRC recommended DNA sampling of bodies to compare them with the next of kin of people who have disappeared.

In 2011, the then Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had ruled out presence of any mass graves in the state, saying only in some rare cases two unidentified bodies had been buried together.
He had asked people whose family members have gone missing since 1989 to deposit their DNA samples with the authorities so that government can establish the identity of the unidentified bodies.
Reiterating that Truth and Reconciliation Commission was the only way to address the human rights issue, Omar had asked India and Pakistan to include setting up of the Commission in their dialogue process. (GNS)