The Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) campaigns against enforced disappearances in Jammu and Kashmir. APDP was founded in 1994 by Parveena Ahangar with the support of human rights activists and lawyers in Kashmir. Three years earlier, Parveena’s son, Javaid Ahangar, had been abducted by Indian security forces and was never heard of again. In the process of looking for her son, Parveena had met many others who were also searching for their loved ones. The number of disappearances had continued to grow, but few people were seeking help from the courts due to the state’s policy of repression and fear of going to prison or police fire. In 1994, Parveena filed a habeas corpus petition in the Srinagar High Court and more people began filing petitions and going to the courts.
APDP continues to work on the issue of enforced/involuntary disappearances and attends meetings and conferences with other organizations trying to combat this issue. It works directly with the families of victims and is currently supported by the United Nations Human Rights under United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture, where legal, medical, psychological, social, and educational support is being provided to these families. APDP is also working on the collection of documentation of the cases of enforced/involuntary disappearances in the state. APDP conducts monthly sit-in programs, where victims’ family members meet to protest against state indifference. It is also planning to start video-documenting narratives of family members of the victims for dissemination across the state.
For more information, visit the group’s website here.