Throughout history, women have been subjected to sexual violence as part of the damages inflicted by attacking groups. This harrowing trend remains prevalent in current times. It has almost morphed into a tool for the display and exercise of absolute authority.
The treatment of men and women in Indian occupied Kashmir (IoK) is no different. The community has time and again been brutalized in every conceivable way, rape of its women being one of them. The security forces employed in IOK are the perpetrators of these inhumane acts.
The rape victims are most often considered sympathizers of militant groups in Kashmir. Hence, their suffering is justified as punishment by these forces. This pattern that is evident in these horrific acts proves that the problem does not solely lie in a handful of aggressive soldiers. These are, however, perpetrated systematically to achieve an ulterior motive, quite possibly to lessen chances of insurgence.
This is further backed by the fact that a great number of these women have been raped in front of their families. The Indian forces desire to shape the way they are perceived; as powerful atrocious beasts that cannot be counteracted.
One amongst countless, sickening instances took place in the Southern District of Kashmir – Shopian – on 29 May 2009. It was the rape and subsequent murder of two women of the Ahangar family. Neelofer, 22, and her niece Aasiya took a trip to their apple orchard that night but never returned. They were discovered dead at a place called Rambiaar.
An autopsy carried out by a team of doctors from the Pulwama district ascertained that they had been raped.
Naturally, the Indian legislation’s below-par handling of the few cases that make it to their files and a general lack of accountability encourages the violators of the Kashmiri people’s human rights.
The Survivors SPEAK
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