Complete Silence on Violence Against Women in the Kashmir Valley

 

Source: Ucannews.com

The disputed regions of Kashmir, where terrorism and security are normal in day to day life. But these scenarios always end up risking women's safety. Recently the incident came into the spotlight in December when the family of 65-year-old Noor was grieving for the death of their 21-year-old daughter.

Her daughter had been kidnapped from a marriage party by two men in October and then raped. Noor’s daughter who was a final year Arts student had gone to her relatives’ house to attend the wedding of her cousin in the same area.

According to the statement of one of the relatives, on the day of the incident, October 31, the victim woman had left home to receive the wedding dress of the bride.

When she was returning home, two men abducted her. After they kidnapped her, they took her to an orchard where they raped and assaulted her. The locals of the areas found the woman in a bad condition lying on the ground.

She was immediately taken to the Kulgam district hospital. Their doctors referred her to the Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Science in Srinagar in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, where she battled for life due to multiple-organ injuries for almost a month.

The Doctor of the SKIMS, Farooq Jan, said that the woman was brought in a critical condition. According to the family, the woman was brutally attacked. She was beaten, tortured, and was choked using the thread of her amulet and even her tongue was slit.

As per some relatives, the two accused wanted to kill the girl but some locals arrived there and caught them red-handed while committing the crime. They were later handed over to the police.

 

Complete Silence on Violence

No reaction by the people was seen in this brutal rape and murder of the 21-year-old in Kashmir. Although there were a few protests organized by the locals urging strict and immediate action against the rapists and killers of the 21-year-old but the incident has not gathered much attention at the nationwide levels.

 

Source: Reuters

Accused of the Case

The accused identified in this case are inhabitants of Ashmuji village in Kulgam. One is 18-year-old Adil Ahmad Dar and 24-year-old Waseem Ahmad Dar. Waseem has been a bus driver while Adil has studied till Class X.

It’s been over a month since the incident and after her death but still, the accused are safe in police custody. The family demands swift action against this crime to ensure justice for their dead daughter.

Station house officer Devsar, Jazib Mohammad did not disclose the charge sheet and cause of death. However, he says that the two accused are arrested since the incident took place and will be presented in court soon.

They have been charged with the case of abduction, rape, and assault among other charges. After the death of the girl, the accused has been charged with Section 302.

Although the valley was known for its morally upright culture, by the reaction of the people, it seems that no one cares about such an incident. The brutal rape and murder of the girl has not only left village women in panic but has endangered their freedom.

 

Increased Sexual Violence in Kashmir

Kashmir-based women’s rights activist Ezabir Ali reacted to this incident and said that she fears that this strange silence will only heighten the violence. After the incident, many village women fear going out in the fields and now believe to leave in groups and should usually be accompanied by men from their families.

According to Nayeema Mehjoor, former chairperson of, state’s women commission, the incidences of rapes have started rising in the last few decades. Some incidence jerked the entire Valley. She feels that in dispute regions where everything is seen through the prism of safety and terrorism, the safety of women is badly affected.

After such incidents, it's women who are restricted from going out of the house. According to a news report, from 2020 until April, the J&K government has submitted a document in the court that discloses around 16 cases of rape and 64 cases of molestation in the union territory of J&K during the lockdown duration.

 

Conclusion

Women's rights have always been Jammu and Kashmir's major issue. Many organizations have been formed to struggle for women's rights in Jammu and Kashmir and uplift the status of girls in society.

Kashmiri women are members of a patriarchal society, have had to fight inequality and discrimination. The frequent cases of rape against Kashmiri Muslim women regularly go unpunished.

Therefore in 1947, the volunteer Women's Self Defense Corps (WSDC) was founded as the female wing of the Jammu and Kashmir National Militia. The organization aims to train women for self-defense and to withstand invaders.

Many productive steps are taken to raise women's standards by creating quotas for women in Parliament, the legislative assembly, and the judiciary like this female representation would increase thus accelerating a cultural transition in gender-role expectations.


Written by - Sanjana Yadav

Edited by - Adrija Saha

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