Plight of Kashmiri Women: A History of MiseryJanuary 17, 2024
For over seventy-five years, women in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir have borne the brunt of state-sponsored terrorism, with a recent analytical report shedding light on the harrowing experiences they endure. According to a report, 685 women have lost their lives at the hands of Indian forces since January 2001 in the occupied territory.
The reports underscore the severe toll the conflict has taken on Kashmiri women, revealing that 22,972 have been widowed since 1989. It condemns the routine sexual harassment perpetrated by Indian troops, paramilitary, and police personnel as a means to suppress the legitimate demand for Kashmiris’ right to self-determination. Disturbingly, the report documents the molestation and degradation of 11,263 Kashmiri women during the period.
The notorious incidents of Kunanposhpora mass rape, Shopian double-rape-and-murder, and the Kathua rape-and-murder of an 8-year-old girl are cited as glaring examples of the extreme brutality of Indian forces in the region since 1989. The report recounts the horrifying night in 1991 when Indian troops molested around one hundred women during a cordon and search operation in Kunanposhpora. It also highlights the abduction, rape, and subsequent killing of two women, Aasiya and Neelofar, in Shopian in 2009, as well as the heinous gang-rape and murder of 8-year-old Aasifa Bano in Kathua in 2018.
The report paints a grim picture of thousands of women who have lost their sons, husbands, fathers, and brothers to custodial disappearance by Indian troops, paramilitary, and police personnel. Over 8,000 Kashmiris have reportedly gone missing in custody over the past 35 years, according to the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons.
The use of pellet guns by Indian troops has also resulted in the injury of thousands of school boys and girls, with over a hundred individuals, including minors, losing their eyesight due to pellet injuries in the territory. The report demands urgent attention to the plight of 33 women, including Hurriyat leaders and activists, who are facing illegal detention for their association with the Kashmiris’ struggle for the right to self-determination under draconian black laws. The report concludes by calling on the global community to take cognizance of the dire situation faced by Kashmiri women, who bear the brunt of Indian brutality in the occupied territory. The documented suffering of these women underscores the urgent need for international intervention to address the human rights crisis unfolding in the region.