Complainants in distress
Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir State Women Commission (SWC) is headless after the break in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) coalition government.
The SWC has not only become headless but is also completely non-functional, resulting in tremendous stress and anxiety to the women who approach it in search of justice.
“The women have been left in a dilemma by government, they (the women) don’t know where to complain, and moreover, there is no one to listen to their grievances,” an official said.
“The Commission has been fighting many cases of women, but since June this year, SWC has not been following any of its cases nor do they register any new case.
“In absence of the Commission head, we wouldn’t be able to exercise administrative as well as financial powers to ensure its smooth day-to-day functioning,” an official said.
“This is not the first time that the Commission has remained headless. In the past, too, it was without a chairperson for seven years till 2010,” he further said
The mandate of the Commission is to act as a nodal agency for the redressal of women’s grievances.
“Nothing can be said about how long this Commission will remain headless. Victims are facing many problems as their hearings are deferred; they came many times to this office but they have to go back. What can we do; without the Commission, we cannot do anything,” the officer further added
Muksaan Farooq, a harassment complainant, told Kashmir Reader, “I have filed case in the Commission and was to come for hearing on the 26th of June. But before my case was solved, the chairperson of this Commission resigned.”
She added, “I don’t how much, I have to wait now. We all know what the government has done to ensure that women in the state feel safe. For many years, we are facing acid attacks, dowry deaths, rapes and sexual harassment; all are happening in J&K.”
The Commission is a statutory body set up in March 2000 under the State Commission for Women Act, 1999. Its last chairperson, Nayeema Ahmad Mahjoor, resigned on June 24.