Amnesty seeks truth from India on 'disappeared'

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The Independent Online

The sad, meagre report by a Calcutta journalist reads: "On the night of 15th and 16th May 1996, a group of uniformed men ... took away Imtiyaz Ahmad Wani. Since then there are no whereabouts of Imtiyaz Ahmad ... he is a government employee and was not involved in any political or militant organ-isation. He was the sole bread-earner of his family."

Local journalists claim the number of people who have been "disappeared" by the Indian authorities is as high as 4,000; Amnesty International believes 1,000.

These are citizens who have been whisked away by the security forces and are never seen by their loved ones again. Amnesty International marks today as the Day of the Disappeared. This year it is calling on the Indian government to come clean about the many hundreds of its citizens, most but not all in Kashmir, who have vanished into the state's maw. "There is no legal or moral justification," Amnesty said.

In Colombia and the Philippines, relatives of victims have put up memorials to the "disappeared". But when Kashmiris did the same thing, the memorial itself disappeared.

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