What is Enforced Disappearance?

According to the United Nations’ Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, proclaimed by the General Assembly in its resolution 47/133 of 18 December 1992 as a body of principles for all States, an enforced disappearance occurs when:

“…persons are arrested, detained or abducted against their will or otherwise deprived of their liberty by officials of different branches or levels of Government, or by organized groups or private individuals acting on behalf of, or with the support, direct or indirect, consent or acquiescence of the Government, followed by a refusal to disclose the fate or whereabouts of the persons concerned or a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of their liberty, which places such persons outside the protection of the law.”

A Brief History of Militarization

Since 1989, Kashmir has been put under heavy military control with over 700,000 Indian troops (as per sources) placed in public and private spaces throughout the Kashmir valley.

Enforced Disappearance Since 1989

In the process of militarizing civilian spaces to fight against a homegrown insurgency since 1989, the Indian army and its state forces have subjected 8,000 to 10,000 Kashmiri civilians to enforced disappearance.

The Origins of Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons

Of the 8,000 to 10,000 civilians enforced disappeared, Javaid Ahmad Ahangar of 16 years of age was picked up from his home on August 18, 1990, and never to be found again. His mother, Parveena, began an unending search for him and in the process organized an entire group of family members also looking for their loved ones. The result of such an ongoing search is APDP – Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons, with Parveena Ahangar as the Founder and Chairperson. For over a quarter of a century APDP with the leadership of Parveena has been fighting for justice and demanding answers from the state about the whereabouts of all such 8000 to 10,000 missing Kashmiris.

What We Do

As an internationally recognized human rights organization, we specialize in the following:
  • APDP actively campaigns for an end to the practice and crime of involuntary and enforced disappearances at local, national and international platforms.
  • APDP has been engaged in documenting enforced disappearances in Kashmir since 1989 and has collected information on over one thousand such cases so far.
  • On the 10th of each month, families of the disappeared come together under the aegis of APDP to hold a public protest in Srinagar to commemorate the disappearance of their loved ones and to seek answers from the state about the whereabouts of the missing persons.
  • APDP provides basic support to families of the enforced disappeared, especially those who were left destitute when their primary providers and breadwinners (often men) were enforced disappeared.
  • APDP provides medical support to the families of the enforced disappeared who cannot get such support by themselves. Among such families are elderly parents who have been waiting for their loved ones for over two decades.
  • APDP maintains regular contact with the families of the enforced disappeared through its main office in Srinagar and checks on their status.
  • APDP provides free expert consultation to a variety of scholars, researchers, artists, journalists, writers, film-makers, etc. who are interested in the topic of enforced disappearance in Kashmir to raise awareness about this serious violation of human rights.
  • Under the leadership of our founder, Parveena Ahangar, APDP attends multiple international events at different conferences and institutions.
  • APDP offers internship and volunteer work opportunities to those interested in helping the organization.
Learn MoreExplore Our Digital Archive


120 Days: 5th August to 5th December — A Report by APDP

This report is a narrative of the situation that arose in Kashmir valley, after the events of August 5th 2019. The report sheds light on the impact of the abrogation of Article 370 in the Indian Administered State of Jammu of Kashmir. The report highlights the political history of the state of Jammu and Kashmir and outlines its accession to the Union of India. Further, it looks into the history of Article 370 and its incorporation into the Indian Constitution. It also makes a detailed study into its constant erosion by the Indian State, from time to time.

My World is Dark — State Violence and Pellet-firing Shotgun Victims from the 2016 Uprising in Kashmir

This report records testimonies from 23 victims of pellet gun injuries. These testimonies reveal how the injuries have completely transformed the victims’ lives and destroyed their futures, rendering people unemployed and impoverished, in a helpless state.

Researchers from the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP), a human rights organization based in Srinagar, Kashmir, have collected nearly 300 testimonies of pellet gun victims. This is only a fraction of the total number of victims. When placed within the context of stepped-up state repression following popular protests in 2016, they portray a state of total war against a civilian population.

Press Releases

March 31, 2018 – APDP Press Release

March 31, 2018 – APDP Press Release

With immense grief we regret to inform you that Dilshada Sheikh, a member of Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP), passed away Saturday morning.
Dilshada Sheikh who lived in Zakura, Srinagar, was the half-widow of Bashir Ahmad Sheikh and mother of their two sons. Bashir Ahmad Sheikh was a casual laborer who was subjected to an enforced disappearance after being picked up by Border Security Force (BSF) of the Indian Army in Lal Chowk on the 16th of June, 1992.

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March 10, 2018 – APDP Press Release

March 10, 2018 – APDP Press Release

On the occasion of the International Women’s day, Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) commemorates the struggles of Kashmiri women against the repression of the Indian state. Since the outbreak of counter-insurgency, the Indian state subjected thousands of Kashmiri men to enforced disappearances which left behind hundreds of widows and their children and ageing mothers.

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December 10, 2017 – APDP Press Release

December 10, 2017 – APDP Press Release

International Human Rights Day is observed every year on the 10th of December, across the world. It marks the commemoration of the day when the United Nations General Assembly in 1948 adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The Universal Declaration of Human Rights along with the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights set out the civil, political, cultural, economic and social rights which are inalienable and unconditional. This was done in the event of decolonisation happening in the developing world for people, to assure them their right to self determination.
December 10th also coincides with the monthly sit-in, that APDP conducts on 10th of every month for remembering our disappeared, to find their whereabouts and seek justice for them and their families. APDP on this day reiterates its demand for setting up an independent judicial commission for investigating into the cases of Enforced Disappearances and of ratifying the International Convention of Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances and the Convention against Torture.

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