Female Main Victims of Indian State Terrorism in the IIOJK – Kashmir Media Service
22,943 widowed women, dozens threatened with illegal detention
Islamabad, Mar 08 (KMS): As the world observes International Women’s Day today, the miseries and victimization of Kashmiri women at the hands of Indian troops, police and agencies continues unabated in the Jammu and Kashmir illegally occupied by India (IIOJK).
According to a report by the research section of the Kashmir Media Service on the occasion of World Women’s Day, today thousands of women are among the 95,981 Kashmiris martyred by Indian military, paramilitary and police personnel since January 1989 to date. At least 681 women have been martyred by troops since January 2001 to date.
The report pointed out that India’s relentless state terrorism has left 22,943 women widowed. Indian forces personnel assaulted/disgraced 11,250 women, including the victims of the Kununposhpora gang rape and Shopian double rape and the murder of 17-year-old Aasiya Jan and her sister-in-law Neelofar Jan. An eight-year-old girl, Aasifa Bano, from Kathua, was abducted, gang-raped and then murdered by Indian police officers in January 2018.
On February 10, 2021, Indian troops abused an underage girl and dragged her into their vehicle while she and her sister were working in her garden at Chewa-Ajas in Bandipore district. To the cries of joy of his sister, the inhabitants rushed to the scene and rescued the minor victim. The victim’s family filed an FIR at the Ajas police station and troops harassed and pressured the family to drop the case.
The report states that thousands of women lost their sons, husbands, fathers and brothers in the occupied territory who were subjected to imprisonment by Indian troops. According to the Association of Relatives of Disappeared Persons, more than 8,000 Kashmiris have disappeared in custody over the past 34 years, the report adds.
The report revealed that thousands of school children and girls were also injured by pellets fired by Indian troops and police personnel, while more than a hundred, including 19-month-old Heeba Jan, Nusrat Jan, 2 years old, Ulfat Hameed (17), Insha Mushtaq, Ifrah Shakoor (17), Shakeela Bano, Tammana (11), Shabroza Mir (16), Shakeela Begum (35) and Rafia Bano (31) were blinded.
Four-year-old Zuhra Majeed was shot in the legs and abdomen after her family was targeted by Indian police outside their home in Qamarwari in Srinagar on July 10, 2016.
Ulfat Hameed, 17, a class 10 student from Baramulla, said: “I used to teach sewing and tailoring to girls in my village, but not anymore. Due to the injuries, I was unable to pass my class 10 exam”.
In July 2021, a police officer and a Special Police Officer (SPO) gang raped a Dalit girl in the Dansal area of Jammu.
The report argued that morality dies out when it comes to moralizing the Indian Armed Forces. He said there is a culture of sexual harassment of female officers in the Indian Armed Forces and even female officers are not safe from sexual harassment by morally corrupt elders.
The report states that the global community must wake up to contain the sexual violence perpetrated by the Indian army in IIOJK.
The report states that more than a dozen women, including Hurriyat leaders, Syeda Aasiya Andrabi, 59, Fehmeeda Sofi, Naheeda Nasreen, Insha Tariq Shah (23), Saima Akther, Shazia Akhter, Afrooza, Aisha Mustaq, Hina Bashir Beig, Aasiya Bano and Alass Aara were at risk of being illegally detained in Kashmir prisons and India’s infamous Tihar prison. They are only victimized for representing the just demand and aspirations of the Kashmiri people.
The report further points out that women are among the majority of Kashmiris suffering from multiple mental problems.
Women who lost men in the form of enforced disappearance are referred to as “half-widowed”, due to their uncertain status between wife and widowhood.
Many mothers wait for their missing sons while widows and half-widows have suffered for decades in occupied territory.
From AJK, around 400 women who married Kashmiri youths are facing injustice as the Indian government does not grant them citizenship rights or travel documents to return to Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Their children are not admitted to public schools. “I came here in 2012. My mother died recently but I couldn’t go see her one last time. We cannot meet our relatives and family members. The parents of many women died during these years, but they could not attend the funeral,” said Saba Fayaz, who belongs to the AJK and married a young Kashmiri from the IIOJK.
Kashmiri women bear the heaviest burden in this conflict as they face Indian barbarism and bear the cost of military occupation.
Women in Kashmir do not enjoy the fundamental rights which are given by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and even promised by CEDAW (The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against women) adopted in 1979 by the United Nations General Assembly described as an international declaration of women’s rights.
The report says Kashmiri women are standing like a rock today in the face of the worst political and social pressures like Rafiqa Begum, the wife of illegally detained Hurriyat leader Aiyaz Akbar, who died of cancer in Maloora, Shalteing in Srinagar last year 2021. Ayaz Akbar has been facing unlawful detention in India’s Tihar prison since July 2017 on bogus charges by India’s dreaded agency, NIA.
Another victim, Maroofa Meraj, wife of illegally detained Hurriyat leader Raja Meraj-ud-Din Kalwal, mother of four daughters, said: “I suffer from depression, as do my daughters who have not seen their father for a long time. Her mother-in-law and mother of the imprisoned Hurriyat leader, Raja Meraj-ud-Din Kalwal, also died of depression last year.
“Our life has become hell. In his absence, things got too difficult. Our relatives help us. But it can’t go far. We have no one to take care of us”. She said her husband was kept in prison only for his political views.
Another female victim, Rafia Begum whose son Athar Mushtaq Wani was martyred by Indian troops during a fake encounter in Srinagar in December 2020. The mother lost everything and often breaks down in tears to demand justice and return the body of his son who was buried with two other youths by Indian troops in an unknown cemetery at Ganderbal. Hundreds of these mothers face atrocities, injustice and depression whose sons are buried by Indian troops in undisclosed cemeteries in Baramulla, Kupwara and Ganderbal districts.
Meanwhile, APHC spokesperson, APHC leaders and organizations said that women across the world are observing International Women’s Day, but oppressed women in Kashmir have nothing to do. commemorate and urged instruments of international justice, watchdogs like the UN and the international community to intervene and monitor the plight of Kashmiri women. They said women play a leading role in the ongoing freedom struggle and called on the international community to pressure India to protect women’s rights in the territory.
They said harassment and other forms of oppression against women continue at the IIOJK.