Srinagar: Around 50 people from Association
of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) gathered here on Sunday
to press for their demand to know the whereabouts of their
Although they meet on 28th of every month, this was their
first meeting after 5 months of unrest, which forced
residents to stay indoors as street protests and curfew
brought the life in the valley to a standstill.
APDP was formed 16 years ago by the relatives of
disappeared persons, whose numbers are contested by the
organisation and the government.
3 old men, sporting beards with patches of grey,
from Rafiabad of north Kashmir`s Baramulla district sit in
silence. All of them "lost" their sons the day killer
earthquake struck in Kashmir on October 8, 2005. "We have no
clue where they are and what happened to them," said Mohammad
Afzal Malik, whose son Abdul Majid Malik went missing after
leaving his home for work five years ago.
They claim 5 boys had disappeared that day without
a trace from their locality.
Human rights activist Pervez Imroz said the number of
disappeared person in the state can be as high as 8,000.
"There can be 8,000 disappeared people in the valley but we
have documented more than 2,500 cases so far," he said.
Imroz, whose organisation released a report "Buried
Evidence" last year claiming existence of "mass and unknown
graves", said they have found several cases of disappeared
persons being killed in "fake-encounters".
However, Army spokesman Lt Col J S Brar denied any role
of Army in the disappearances saying the allegations are
baseless. "Army does not believe in any report of fake
encounters and these allegations are baseless. We are not
involved in any disappearances."