‘Militants least responsible for violence inflicted on the (Kashmiri) community’
SRINAGAR:A study conducted by academics from Jamia Millia Islamia and Ambedkar University has found government forces to be the main perpetrators of violence in Kashmir Valley. According to the study, the military and the paramilitary are the main perpetrators of violence in Kashmir, followed by the police and the “Special Task Force” that assists in anti-militancy operations. The study said that “armed members of the local community (often termed as militants or insurgents) were least responsible for the violence inflicted on the community.”
The study titled ‘A Qualitative Exploration of Salient Incidents of Violence Exposure among Youth in Kashmir: Beyond Direct Violence’ noted: “Most of the respondents (approximately 94%) believed that the local community members were the main victims of the violence, with less than 4% mentioning that local police and military personnel were also affected by the violence.”
The study has been authored by Waheeda Khan and Sramana Majumdar. Khan is a former professor of psychology at Jamia Millia Islamia and Majumdar is a faculty member at the School of Human Studies at Ambedkar University, Delhi. The study, published in December this year, has 96 participants (51 male and 45 female) in the age range of 18-30 from different regions in Kashmir. All participants were enrolled as students in Kashmir University, Srinagar.
The study has found that children, women and the elderly have been the maximum victims of violence, though young people have witnessed the highest amount of violence, followed by children, the elderly, and the women. The study says that the negative perception of the role of the military and the militaristic nature of the violence in Kashmir Valley has emerged out of a debate around the overwhelming presence of the army in Kashmir and various cases of human rights violations.
The study has also examined how living in a situation of ongoing conflict creates conditions where movement, speech and other basic necessities are limited and often prohibited.
“The fact that youth in Kashmir viewed loss of freedom as an essential element within the experience of violence points to the fact that experiences which are less related to the body or person and more inter-twined with a socio-political sense of the self (in terms of freedom of choice and speech) may be significant memories of violence to certain individuals,” the study remarked.
The full text of the study can be found at www.researchgate.net/publication/311480089