Srinagar: Jammu Kashmir Salvation Movement (JKSM) Chairman Altaf Ahmad Bhat on Monday said that Jammu & Kashmir is the highest militarized zone in the world and as such women face immense difficulties, unfavourable & tough situation. Altaf Ahmad Bhat while addressing a core group meeting of party workers said that women in occupied Jammu Kashmir are living in unprecedented circumstances and facing an extremely grim situation.
No part on earth faces such apathy as women in Kashmir are facing. They are being caged, killed, maimed, targeted with lethal weapons and sexually molested, said he. Referring to Aasiya Andrabi, Fahmeeda Sofi and more than two dozen women leaders and activists, Altaf Ahmad Bhat said that it is extremely disgusting that our sisters are being caged and sexually assaulted but their screams and cries for justice fall on deaf ear. “we have countless heart-wrenching stories to tell and expressed his deep sorrow and grief over the silence maintained by the world community.” Bhat added Altaf Ahmad Bhat said that during the people’s uprising in 2016, women faced immense problems and humiliations and scores including Insha who lost her eyesight.
In the last 30 years, more than one hundred thousand kashmiris are killed, and 2500 disappeared in forces custody. We have more than a dozen graveyards in North Kashmir and Rajouri in the Jammu division, where youth arrested were buried after they were killed during forces interrogation.
Referring to mass molestation and rapes in Kashmir Altaf Ahmad Bhat said that it has been 30 years that on February 23-24, 1991 since four personnel of the Rajputana Rifles raped at least 23 women in Kashmir’s twin villages of Kunan and Poshpora. It was supposed to be a cordon-and-search operation to trace militants but turned out to be the blackest of nights in Kashmir’s violence-ridden history. The sad part to say is that Army Still Enjoys Impunity. While commenting over Shopian double rape and murder case, he said that the Omer Abdullah Government played an important role in shielding the real culprits involved in the incident and they provided a safe passage for their exit.”, adding that 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” 8-year-old Aasifa was raped by Hindu extremists and killed.675 women martyred during the last two decades, added Bhat In February 2021 in Cheewa Bandipora a teenaged girl was dragged, molested and later when people protested, the armed forces flee but the next day forced family members to withdraw the case against the forces.
Similarly pellet gun created havoc in the valley and Shakeela, Raffia, Tamana, Shabroza, Ifrah, Shakoorah, Insha Mushtaq were seriously injured with pellets, Insha Mushtaq lost her both eyes and now living a life as handicapped.
19-month-old Hiba Jan, 2-year-old Nusrat Jan too were brutally showered with pellets and consequently lost their partial eyesight.
In 2020 mourners on Hussaini day were showered pellets and three young boys from Budgam, Srinagar Saida kadal and Mirgund were seriously injured.
Twelve years ago, on 29 May 2009, two women, 17-year-old Asiya and her 22-year-old sister-in-law Neelofer went missing from their orchard in south Kashmir’s Shopian district. The Jan Commission found in its report that the women were raped and murdered by “men in uniform
While referring to prevailing hard situations, Altaf Ahmad Bhat said that life and chastity are always at stake in conflict zones, like Jammu and Kashmir.
According to a statement issued to media, deploring the international community for their criminal silence about troublesome situations and pathetic condition of women folk, Altaf Ahmad Bhat said that 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 by the so-called judiciary in the occupied state rather enjoy full impunity.
Stating on Women’s International Day, Altaf Ahmad Bhat said that as per details available since last 31 years more than seven thousand women were sexually assaulted and in Kunan Poshpora Indian forces committed this grave crime against 23 young and elderly women. There is sufficient evidence about the Kunan Poshpora episode, however not a single accused was tried for this heinous mishap.
Commenting over Badra Payeen (Handwara) episode, Bhat said that forces sexually assaulted the mother and her daughter and till now the accused are roaming free. Altaf Ahmad Bhat said that In Budasgam a bride along with guests was halted, raped, fired upon and killed an innocent guest.
Referring to Shopian double rape and murder case, Altaf Ahmad Bhat said, after the mass gang-rapes by the Indian army in Kunan Poshpora, the Shopian incident of Asiya and Neelofer is the worst incident in the history of Kashmir. Altaf Ahmad Bhat said that 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. Salvation Movement chairman Altaf Ahmad Bhat in his appeal to organisations for human rights impressed to take cognizance of crime against women and fulfil assigned duties to safeguard their honour and
chastity. Meanwhile, party activists and the women’s wing of the party on Monday held a protest demonstration in Srinagar and demanded the immediate release of the women activists of the resistance movement. Raising slogans they demanded an impartial probe against forces for their involvement in rapes, killings molestation, arson and maiming. The protestors impressed the world community to take cognizance of crimes committed against womenfolk.