What untold sufferings are undergone by the families of those who have ‘disappeared’ and remain missing? One such family member summed it up succinctly: “We cannot fear the worse and yet we cannot hope too much either. The families are going through intolerable times.” The families of 20 persons who went missing in November and December 2013 organised a press conference on Sunday where they spoke of their sufferings. The question is, does the government feel even an iota of responsibility towards these people?
The question of the government’s responsibility is vital because the families claim that these victims remain missing ever since being picked up and taken away by persons identifying themselves as law enforcement personnel. Many other families have similar allegations. The actual involvement of the law enforcement agencies in some of these cases cannot be ruled out. After all, three ‘disappeared’ persons this year were later shown to have been arrested. The law enforcement agencies have, however, denied any involvement whatsoever in these forced disappearances. So who are then behind these incidents?
It is the responsibility of the law enforcement agencies to identity those behind these abductions, to bring them before the law and to find the missing persons. The home minister has said there is no such thing as ‘disappearance’, many of them have gone into hiding on their own accord. If indeed they have gone into hiding as the minister says, then it is the responsibility of the government to expose that too.
According to human rights organisation Ain O Salish Kendra, the bodies of eight persons have been found from among all those who have been picked up by persons said to be law enforcement personnel from the beginning of this year till September. Another 46 remain missing. In 2015 a total of 35 were missing and in 2014 this was 52.
These statistics are evidence of the fact that forced disappearances and killings are taking place. Our law enforcement has failed to resolve these cases or else they are unwilling to do so. If they do not want to take responsibility of this failure, then they must resolve these cases of disappearances and killings and prove their skill and strength by preventing the recurrence of such incidents.