India using rape as a tool to suppress Kashmiris’ struggle


Srinagar, June 19 (KMS): Women are the worst victims of Indian forces’ barbarities in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir as India is using rape as a weapon of war to suppress the Kashmiris’ ongoing freedom struggle.

An analytical report released by Kashmir Media Service on the occasion of International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, today, revealed that Indian forces’ personnel have sexually assaulted over 11,244 women during the past three decades in the occupied territory. It said India is deliberately targeting women in IIOJK to humiliate and terrorize the Kashmiris. It pointed out that Kunanposhpora mass rape, Shopian double rape and murder, and rape and murder of a minor girl in Kathua depict the brutal face of Indian forces.

Around a hundred women were gang-raped by Indian troops during a cordon and search operation in Kunanposhpora area of Kupwara district on the night of February 23, 1991. Two women, Aasiya and Neelofar of Shopian, were abducted by Indian men in uniform on May 29, 2009, gang-raped and subsequently killed in custody. Their bodies were recovered from a shallow stream in the area on the next morning. An 8-year-old Muslim girl, Aasifa Bano, was repeatedly gang raped by Indian policemen and communal Hindus affiliated with rightwing organizations in Kathua area of Jammu in January 2018.

The report deplored that rape is sanctioned as a matter of official policy by India in IIOJK. It maintained that till now not a single Indian soldier or policeman involved in such heinous crimes in the occupied territory has been punished. “Despite evidence that Indian forces’ personnel are involved in widespread rape in IIOJK, not a single such case has been investigated so far. World human rights bodies have documented many cases of rape and gang rape by Indian troops in IIOJK. Rapist Indian forces are an ugly blot on humanity,” it added.

The report pointed out that Kashmiris will never forget the horrific incidents of mass rape in Kunanposhpora and other areas of IIOJK. It added that the world women rights organizations should raise their voice in support of the Kashmiri women.

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