In Indian illegally occupied Kashmir, Indian troops while using enforced disappearance as a strategy to spread terror subjected thousands of Kashmiris to custodial disappearance during the last thirty years.
According to a report released by the Research Section of the Kashmir Media Service on the occasion of the International Day of Disappeared, today, being the most militarized zone in the world, Jammu and Kashmir has witnessed killings, enforced disappearances, torture cases, rapes and other brutalities by the Indian forces over the decades. Over 8,000 vanished only in the custody after they were picked up by the Indian troops, police and paramilitary forces since 1990. The report revealed that more than 200,000 relatives of victims of enforced disappearances have been working tirelessly to trace their missing ones. Also the families of those the disappeared people suffer economically because in most cases, the breadwinner of the family is targeted.
The report maintained that disappearances not only silence opponents but also create uncertainty and fear in the wider community. This inhuman, savage & insensate act has been committed by all the tributaries of so-called security apparatus comprising Army, Paramilitary forces, and special task forces as well as counterinsurgents working under the superintendence, control & direction of the security forces.
The cruel practice of enforced disappearances has given rise to a new class of people called half-widows and half orphans which are now common phrases used in Kashmir. The impunity provided to the troops and police personnel through draconian laws like Armed Forces Special Powers Act, Disturbed Areas Act and Public Safety Act gave them the licence to kill and harass the people and ransack their possession without being questioned and the tragedy is that the burden of proof is shifted on the victims.