While demanding stringent punishment for perpetrators of crime and violence against women, Kashmir Centre for Social and Development Studies (KSCDS), a civil society group, has called for strong moral values to reconstruct social fabric in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
A day-long round table conference was held by KCSDS Thursday at Srinagar to discuss and deliberate on “Rising violence against women” and “Supreme Court Judgment on Shri Amarnath yatra” in two separate sessions.
In a statement, KSCDS said a galaxy of civil society members comprising academicians, lawyers, business leaders, medicos, social activists and others who attended the first session of the conference while condemning the recent incident of Delhi gang rape and murder of a paramedical student, lauded the public rage against the incident across India and supported their endeavors to ask for more stringent punishment for the culprits.
The speakers, however, impressed upon the civil society of India also to rise against thousands of such rapes allegedly committed by the men in uniform in Jammu and Kashmir during past 22 years including the rape and murder of Asiya and Neelofar of Shopian. The conference called for pro-active judicial activism in Jammu and Kashmir to deal with the perpetrators of these heinous crimes by establishing fast track courts.
The conference condemned the recent incidents of acid throwing on a school teacher at Burzalla Srinagar and rape of a minor in Shopian and in this regard, the legal fraternity was called upon to ensure the speedy prosecution and conviction of the perpetrators responsible for these crimes.
The conference resolved to stress for awareness campaign by media, religious fraternity and civil society organisations for bringing about greater awareness in people about women’s human rights agreed upon universally in UN declaration of human rights.
“ Gender domination mindset must be fought at all levels by an organized and sustained campaign and in all the discourses in public and private life. The civil society demands stringent punishment in tune with the best practices of justice”, the resolution reads.
The group demanded an immediate end to the culture of impunity at civil as well State level. The forum also stressed for philosophical orientation to education which should stress on the integrated growth of child’s personality in which respect for women is ingrained from the very beginning. “This move could pave the way for healthy, harmonious, disciplined and God- fearing society. Ultimately it is the fear of God more than fear of law that could deter people from committing crimes not only against women but every other crime as well”, it added.
The group criticized the role of cinema and advertisements in commodifying women which was seen as contributing to the crimes against women.
“Drug menace and alcoholic abuse are also found contributing to crimes against women and as such needs to be redressed at civil society level and by state agencies. Public transport needs to be made secure for women”, the conference resolved.
Civil society in addition to getting organized at macro levels needs to act at micro level too by framing mohalla committee to act as watchdogs for crimes against women, it said.
Need for speedy prosecution of the alleged perpetrators of crimes against women both by security and civil actors was highlighted and demanded that the same should be concluded in a time bound frame work.
“Police reforms need to be speedily initiated in order to sensitize police force to domestic violence against women. Judicial activism and fast track courts are imperative to hand out exemplary sentences in crimes against women in a shortest possible time,” the resolution read.
The Round Table Conference was participated, among others, by Dr. Javaid Iqbal, Prof. Noor Baba, Mohammad Anwar Ashai, Abdul Majid Zargar,Shakeel Qalander, Z.G Muhammad, Syed Nazim-ud-Din, Faiz Bakshi, Sadiq Baqal, Prof. Z. A Chat, Shahid Rasool, Ajaz ul Haq, Ateeqa Banu, Mohammad Shafi Khan, Advocate Bashir Ahmad Bashir, Ghulam Nabi Shaheen, Prof Shiekh Showkat, Hawa Bashir, Qurat ul Ain, Arshi Javaid Azar, Deeba Iqbal, Andleeb, Syed Fazal Illahi, Adv. Ashraf Wani, Abdul Majid Bhat, Nadeem Qadiri, Adv. Altaf Meraj.