Amnesty International urges Kashmir graves probe

According to the bbc website, Amnesty International has urged the Indian government to launch an urgent investigation into some 1,000 unmarked graves found in the Kashmir valley.

Amnesty's statement read: "The grave sites are believed to contain the remains of victims of unlawful killings, enforced disappearances, torture and other abuses which occurred in the context of armed conflict persisting in the state since 1989."

It called for "prompt, thorough, independent and impartial investigations".

Amnesty said the grave sites "must be secured in order to preserve the evidence".

Last week police in Indian-administered Kashmir rejected a demand for action to identify the bodies.

According to another article on the bbc website, the Chairman of main separatist alliance, the All Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC), Umar Farooq has said the discovery of the unmarked graves has caused concern among parents about the well-being of the disappeared persons.

He appealed to what he called "the civilised world" to put pressure on the Indian government to inform next-of-kin about the whereabouts of those who have disappeared.

He said the unmarked graves were an example of the kind of atrocities the Indian government had perpetrated in Kashmir. "Such examples are hard to find even in the times of Halaku and Changez Khan," he said.

Amnesty International and other human rights organisations have urged the Indian government to launch urgent and impartial investigations into the unmarked graves.

Pakistan has also expressed its concern and demanded an investigation.

The Indian army has said the reported discovery of the unmarked graves is an attempt to malign the military.

It won't come as a surprise to learn that according to the bbc website, in February 2008, police said DNA tests confirmed that a supposed Pakistani militant reportedly killed in a gun battle was in fact a local civilian who was murdered while in police custody.

Seven policemen have been charged with his murder.

Police are looking into four other reported extra-judicial killings.

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