Kunaris seek justice for Kerala massacre victims
ASADABAD (Pajhwok): The people of eastern Kunar province on Wednesday demanded the government punish the perpetrators of the mass killing of 1260 innocent people in the Kerala village of Asadabad in 1979.
The inhabitants of the area say the Kerala massacre took place on April 20, 1979, when 1260 people were killed by the Soviets-backed communist regime of the Khalqi branch of the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA).
Tuesday marked 39th anniversary of the massacre. Local officials and family members of those killed in Kerala participated in a gathering observing the anniversary.
A resident of Kerala, Maulvi Obaidullah Bahari, said his 10 relatives, including his father and three paternal and six maternal uncles, were killed in the massacre.
He said they had repeatedly demanded prosecution of the killers but that never happened. Some of the murderers were still alive but they were never tried, he said.
Another resident of Kerala village, Shah Mahmood Dagarwal said the then government in 1979 brutally killed his several family members and villagers.
“The government forces gathered all civilians in one place and opened fire at them. Some were alive but they were buried along with the dead through a bulldozer. A120-year-old and two mentally retarded persons were also among the dead.”
Dagarwal said the incident remained unfocused and they had repeatedly asked for the killers to be prosecuted.
Hameedullah, another resident of Kerala, said “my brother-in-law, two uncles and two guests in our home were killed in the massacre.”
He asked the international community to initiate trial of the killers some of whom were inside Afghanistan and others living abroad.
The Dutch Embassy in Kabul on Oct 27 last year said its police had arrested 64-year-old Dutch national of Afghan origin Sadeq Alamyar, suspected of his involvement in the Kerala massacre.
Alamyar, who commanded the elite 444 unit, is believed to have ordered and in person shot villagers in and around the Kerala village on April 20, 1979.
The Dutch Public Prosecutor’s Office has asked persons who were present in or around Kerala, Dam Kalai or Assadabad on or around 20 April 1979 and who are witnesses of events relating to the investigation should contact the Netherlands National Police.
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