India and Pakistan have fought three wars over Jammu and Kashmir since 1947. In response to a separatist insurgency in Indian-controlled Kashmir that intensified in the late 1980s, the New Delhi authorities have deployed half a million troops, implementing a military counter-insurgency strategy.
The Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) and the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society but the number of people who have disappeared in Kashmir as a result of political violence at 8,000 or more. Official figures vary from just over 3,000 to just under 4,000 people.
A 2011 Amnesty International report argues that the Public Safety Act, which has been invoked by the authorities to maintain order in Kashmir, effectively empowers security officials to detain citizens at will.
Buried Evidence, a report published in 2009 by the International People’s Tribunal for Human Rights and Justice in Kashmir (IPTK), documents 2,700 unknown, unmarked, and mass graves, containing more than 2,943 bodies, across 55 villages in northern Kashmir.
In 2011 the State Human Rights Commission endorsed the finding of the APDP and the IPTK regarding the existence of unmarked graves and mass graves.
The national and state governments have denied systematic human rights abuses in Kashmir, and the state authorities have refused to carry out exhumations or forensic examinations of bodies found in unmarked graves.