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India under pressure over Kashmir mass graves

Pressure is mounting on India’s government to launch a full-scale investigation over 2,700 corpses found in unmarked graves across northern Kashmir.

See report by Wall street Journal here.

The existence of the graves, many of which hold the remains of civilians killed during the height of the Kashmir insurgency in the 1990s, has long been known by locals and was detailed in a 2008 report by a Kashmiri human rights group.

But the report by the Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) officially recognises the existence of the mass graves – and increases pressure on New Delhi to launch its own investigation.

The report is the result of a three-year investigation by police officers working for the SHRC.

The investigation found around 2,700 corpses in four districts of northern Kashmir, and was able to identify 574 as those of local residents.

The police had claimed the graves were those of ‘unidentified militants’.

Amnesty International welcomed the report and called for an Indian government investigation into unmarked graves “throughout the state”, adding:

“All unmarked grave sites must be secured and investigations carried out by impartial forensic experts in line with the UN Model Protocol on the disinterment and analysis of skeletal remains.”

India’s army and paramilitary police are shielded by special laws from prosecution in Kashmir.

The Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons, a Kashmir-based rights group which wrote the 2008 report on unmarked graves, estimates that around 10,000 people have gone missing in Jammu and Kashmir since the early 1990s.

The rebellion against Indian rule in Kashmir began in 1989. Tens of thousands of people were killed over the following decade, including many civilians, during India’s counter-insurgency to crush the rebellion.

See NDTV's report here:

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