Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has been urged to set a time-frame
for identifying the bodies found in mass graves in Jammu and
Kashmir and setting up an independent commission to prosecute the
The demand was contained in a letter sent by think tank Centre for
Policy Analysis. A copy has been marked to Kashmir Chief Minister
The letter, signed by 20 eminent persons, including veteran
journalist Kuldip Nayar, activist Anuradha Roy, filmmaker Mahesh
Bhatt and author Githa Hariharan, voices surprise at the "silence
of the UPA government" on the Jammu and Kashmir Human Rights
Commission's Report that has confirmed the existence of mass
graves in the state.
After a three-year investigation, the commission has confirmed the
presence of 2,730 bodies in these graves.
The letter criticizes the government for "apathy and indifference"
which has created "tremendous anger and alienation amongst the
people of Jammu and Kashmir, who are traumatized over the denial
Thousands of Kashmiris have "disappeared" over the years, with
most remaining untraced till date.
The letter asks the prime minister to take concrete steps to
address the issue, that includes fast and immediate identification
of the bodies found in the mass graves.
It asks the government to set up an independent Commission, as
suggested by the state Human Rights Commission, to enquire into
the circumstances that led to the existance of the unmarked mass
"The commission should be authorized to pinpoint responsibility
and prosecute those found guilty for the death of innocent
persons. It should be headed by a former justice of the Supreme
Court," the letter says.
The think tank has suggested that all efforts be made to contact
the kith and kin of those killed, whose dignity should be
respected through the payment of compensation and rehabilitation.
Calling for an immediate withdrawal of Armed Forces Special Powers
Act (AFSPA) and draconian laws to make the security forces
unaccountable, the letter suggests the setting up of a commission
to look into the wider issue of enforced disappearances.