Enforced disappearance is a long-standing issue in the context of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IIOJ&K). There are repeatedly cases of 8,000 to 10,000 disappeared persons in Kashmir valley since India invaded the territory in 1947. Resident of the area, especially with Muslim heritage, have experienced serious human rights violation such as extra judicial torture and arbitrary murder. A state of human rights commission investigation found that thousands of bullet- riddled dead bodies buried in a number of unidentified graves throughout Kashmir. Many people who have been forcefully disappeared by Indian security forces since the 1980s may have their remains at these locations. Many of these bodies are likely to be of individual who disappeared more than ten years ago during the brutal insurgency, which once shocked the world before be easily neglected in the niceties of international realpolitik. The blood of Kashmir Muslims has always been cheap because no one pays attention to the brutalities faced by Kashmiri people.
India’s human rights record has drawn criticism and worry for many years due to its poor performance and suspicious activities on grounds of human rights. The first mass grave was discovered in 2008 in the town of Uri. The grave contained the remains of 16 people. The discovery was made by a group of villagers, who alerted local authorities. A report from India’s Jammu & Kashmir State Human Right Commission, the product of three years of investigations by senior police officers working for the commission, marks the first time that the civilians may have been buried in mass graves in Kashmir.
The discovery was made by a group of villagers, who alerted local authorities. A report from India’s Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission, the product of three years of investigation by senior police officers working for the commission, marks the first time that civilians may have been buried in mass graves in Kashmir, a region that is claimed by both India and Pakistan and where freedom fighters confront with the Indian authorities for control. The investigation revealed that the people buried in the graves were mostly civilians who had been killed in the 1990s by Indian security forces. A team of United Nations specialists expressed serious fear over the claims that there are several unmarked single and mass graves found in IIOJ&K last year. The UN Special Rapporteurs and Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance raised concern in 2022 on ongoing claims that there are several unmarked mass graves and solitary burial sites in IIOJ&K. The remains of hundreds of individuals who were identified as unknown insurgents were reportedly buried in unmarked graves. However, 574 of the more than 2,000 bodies were found to be local citizens.
As mentioned by the report of International People’s Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice in Kashmir (IPTK) the graveyards contain remains of people who were killed in real and fake encounters between 1990 and 2009. These people were allegedly killed by the Indian military and paramilitary forces in massacres as well as extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary killings. 2,373 (87.9%) of these burials were nameless. 23 of these graves held more than two corpses, while 154 contained two dead apiece. A total of 3 to 17 bodies were buried within these 23 graves. The reports mentioned nearly 18 villages located in Uri, Boniyar, and Baramullah in which a number of unidentified mass graves were found.
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Mass graves are thought to be the outcome of genocide, war crimes, or crimes against humanity, according to academics. In that case, the graves in Bandipora, Baramulla, and Kupwara are part of a collective burial by India’s military and paramilitary, resulting in a landscape of “mass burial”. If the intent of a mass grave is to put people to death with impunity with the intent to kill more than one person, and to forge an unremitting representation of death. Following the deaths, military and paramilitary personnel, such as the local police, handled the victim’s bodies routinely. The Jammu and Kashmir Police were the primary team that was responsible for transporting the dead to the “secret graveyards.” In accordance with Islamic religious sensitivities, the graves were built by local gravediggers and caretakers, and the deceased were buried individually wherever feasible rather than in large groups.
As per different scholars, mass graves were created as a result of war crimes, genocide, or crimes against humanity. They are unmarked graves that imply secrecy and ignorance; however, someone is always aware of their existence, even if they are unable to pinpoint their precise location. The families and loved ones of the victims of Indian brutalities resting six feet below the ground are still demanding justice for being deprived of handling the bodies of their family members for performing their rites.