As Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh is on two day visit to Jammu and Kashmir, Kunan-Poshpora, revisited the memories of high level delegation including UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, when Centre for Policy Analysis (CPA) submitted a fact finding report of the victims and also a letter seeking justice to the families.
“It is clear that there has been no closure, especially for the women. Their wounds remain fresh. Many of them continue to suffer various ailments consequent to the violence. It is surprising that no one in authority has noted that more than a dozen of the women of just these two villages have had hysterectomies performed within a short period of their ordeal. This must be the only villages in the India with such a large incidence of this surgical procedure. This cannot be faked, nor can be part of any conspiracy,” the report read.
“For the young women, the situation is far more grim. The unmarried rape victims were quietly married off to relatives or in distant villages as no one was willing to wed them in the area,” it added.
Seeking justice, the report reads that the two villages continue to suffer this ostracisation and the stigma.
“Young men repeatedly told us how they had to change schools and colleges because they were taunted by teachers, classmates and others as coming from “that village where your mothers and sisters were raped by the soldiers.” Even today, such taunts face people of Kunan and Poshpura when they go to Kupwara or beyond and are asked where they come from. Many young men and women have given up their studies entirely, while a few brave ones now study in institutions far away.”
The mandate of the CPA tam was not to probe the actual incident — which must be done by both civil and military investigating agencies — but to assess the status and condition of the people 22 years after the incident. The team therefore did not seek to speak with civil and military authorities.
The team recommends that the government must make a serious and urgent effort to ensure Truth and Reconciliation / Closure in these twin villages to help the people feel they have been given justice, and enable them to move on with their lives besides other relief measures.
Two days after the return of the team from Kashmir, a local court ordered a reopening of the Kunan Poshpura case.