SRINAGAR: Women face immense difficulties, unfavourable and tough situation in Jammu and Kashmir because of being the “highest militarised zone” in the world, Chairman Hurriyat Conference (G) Syed Ali Geelani said in a statement issued on International Women’s Day.
Stating that life and chastity is “always at stake” in conflict zones like Jammu and Kashmir, Geelani deplored the international community for its “criminal silence” over the troublesome situations and pathetic condition of women folk, Geelani said, “Indian forces are using rape as a war weapon against this weaker section of society but it is highly shocking that till now nobody was tried or punished for misdeeds.”
“As per details available in last 28 years, more than 7000 women were sexually assaulted and in Kunan-Poshpora, Indian forces committed this grave crime against 36 young and elderly women. There are sufficient evidences about Kunan-Poshpora episode, however not a single accused was tried for this heinous mishap,” he said.
Commenting over Badra Payeen (Handwara) incident, Geelani said that forces “sexually assaulted mother and her daughter and till now the accused are roaming free. The then chief minister in his shameless statement while giving clean chit to accused said only one lady was raped,” he said. “In Budasgam, a bride along with guests was halted, raped, fired upon and killed. After the mass gang rape by the Indian army in Kunan-Poshpora, the Shopian incident of Asiya and Neelofar is the worst incident in the history of Kashmir and this shook the conscience of every Kashmiri,” he added.
The Hurriyat (G) chairman said though the people illustrated exemplary resentment against the Shopian rape incident but till now forces personnel involved were neither convicted nor was FIR filed against culprits.
“The Omar Abdullah-led government played an important role in shielding the real culprits involved in the incident. There was enough evidence available to prove the hand of the government forces into the dual murder and rape case of the two daughters of the nation,” he said.
“Women’s chastity is endangered in far-flung areas but for the fear of social stigma, the sufferers never reveal the details about these incidents. During people’s uprising in 2016, women faced immense problems and humiliations and scores including Insha lost her eyesight,” he added.
Geelani appealed the human rights organisations to take cognizance of crime against women and fulfill their duties to safeguard the honour and chastity of women.