Kerala massacre: Call to punish living perpetrators
ASADABAD (Pajhwok): Families of the 1,260 civilians killed in the Kerala village of Asadabad, the capital eastern Kunar province in 1979, have once again demanded the government punish the perpetrators of the mass killing.
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).
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.
He told Pajhwok Afghan News they had been asking every government for punishing the perpetrators, but no one heard their complaint.
Shah Mahmod, another resident of the area, said the then government brutally killed his family members and his villagers in 1979.
“All these civilians were gathered at a single place and security forces started firing at them, they were then buried through a bulldozer while some were still alive. A 120-years-old man and two mentally sick persons were also among the victims,” he said.
Mahmod said 2,500 families were living in the village at the time and some families lost up to 10 members each.
Another resident of the area, Hamidullah said: “My father, a brother-in-law, two uncles and two of our guests were also killed in the incident.”
He said they wanted the perpetrators, some of them living abroad, to be punished. He asked the international community to sentence the criminals.
BiBi Zainab, a woman from the area, also told Pajhwok she lost her five family members to the mass killing.
“A number of our women relatives came to our home that morning and were loudly crying that all their men were killed by government forces and then thrown into river,” she recalled.
A tribal elder form Kerala village, Shah Mahmod, said they had complained to the human rights commission office in eastern Nangarhar province about the mass killing of civilians.
Rights officials came to the village and discussed with people the incident, but the discussions did not yield any results, he said.
Kerala Tribal Council has decided to share a complaint letter with the government and call for the perpetrators living inside the country to be tried, he said.
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 Asadabad 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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