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Kashmir’s disappeared start appearing in UNO

Haroon Mirani

Srinagar, November 22, 2007:

The United Nations Organisation is going to take up the case of thousands of people subjected to enforced disappearances in Indian administered Kashmir and it has starting accepting their papers.

The UNO has already accepted two such cases while the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP), a rights body fighting for the Kashmir’s disappeared, is sending more such cases to the world body.

APDP President Parveena Ahangar said, "This is our victory. The world now is showing concern for us."

Until now UNO has accepted the cases of Manzoor Ahmad Wani of Tragpora, Rafiabad and Manzoor Ahmad Dar of Rawalpora, Srinagar.

According to APDP, 28-year-old Wani was picked up by government gunmen and army troopers on December 22, 2001 and has not been traced since.

Dar, 35, a father of three went missing on January 18, 2001.

Dar, who ran a chemists’ shop in Rawalpora had gone to a neighbour’s house to administer medicines to an ailing woman.

Dar’s daughter Bilkis says, “The personnel of Rashtriya Rifles took my father that fateful day. We never saw him again.”

APDP has sent another 40 cases of enforced disappearance to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), and is in the process of completing hundreds more.

"We have launched a massive drive to document all the missing persons of Kashmir. We will also submit them to UNO in near future," says Ahanger whose son Javid Ahmad Ahanger was picked up by troops on August 18, 1990 when he was just 16.

She has never heard from him since.

The APDP hopes to gather thousands of such forms complete with the photograph of missing persons, age, gender, residence and the cause of disappearance, besides other vital details.

Ahangar said: "We are sending these completed forms to UNO so that they see our plight."

Off late UNO has started to take strong notice of the cases of enforced disappearance world over.

In December 2006, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the international convention for the protection of all persons from enforced disappearances.

The convention states that the widespread or systematic practice of forced disappearance constitutes a crime against humanity, and that the victims' families have the right to seek reparations and demand the truth about their missing loved ones.

India signed the treaty on February 6, 2007 that makes it liable to UN directives.

Ahangar had also received an invitation to attend the convention on human rights in New York, but couldn't attend it due to incomplete travel documents.

She hopes to attend the next convention.

"We hope that UN will convince India to divulge whereabouts of thousands of these disappeared to their families," said Ahangar.

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