Human Rights

In raping women, armed forces attempting to punish entire communities, says Kashmir Solidarity Forum

Representative Photo: Kashmiri women shout slogans during the funeral procession of civilian Adil mowed down by an armed forces' vehicle. (FPK Photo/Bilal Ahmad)

Demand Justice for the Asiya and Neelofer

Srinagar: The Kashmir Solidarity Forum (KSF), a body that came into being to protest rape of women in Kashmir after a minor Bakerwal girl was raped and murdered in Kathua, has said that ‘justice in Kashmir is a myth’.

Kashmir say massive protests against rape and murder of two women in Shopian in 2009. On May 29, 2009, two young women had gone to their apple orchard at Bongam, Shopian but didn’t come back to home. Next Morning the dead bodies were found at a place Rambiara. deeply wounded, with their clothes in tatters.

The locals allege that they had been raped and murdered by the Indian forces present in the area.

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“It has been nine years since, and justice is yet to be delivered in the case of Asiya and Neelofer. It goes without saying that the ‘Justice’ is a myth in Kashmir because of the impunity to armed forces. It is not only Shopian rape and murder case but hundreds of women have been sexually assaulted molested by Indian Forces and every time the case was hushed up by one or the other Indian investigation agencies,” Kashmir Solidarity Forum said in a statement.

KSF said that rape is used as a means of targeting women whom the armed forces accuse of being militant sympathisers.

“In raping them, the armed forces are attempting to punish and humiliate the entire community. Rape in Kashmir is not the result of a few undisciplined soldiers, but rather an active strategy of Indian forces to humiliate, intimidate and demoralise the Kashmiri people. This is evidenced by the fact that a number of the raped women had been raped in front of their own families, their own husbands, and their own children.”

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KSF also talked about the recent incident of Major Gogoi, who tied a Kashmiri civilian voter to the boot of his jeep as a human shield and was rewarded.

“The case against Gogoi, whether proven or not, clearly denotes a pattern of sex trafficking under the patronage of the armed forces. This comes close at the heels of one of the most gruesome incident of rape and murder, that is the minor girl in Kathua has shaken the collective conscience of the Kashmiri people,” KSF said.

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