Releasing its reports on women sufferings on Monday, Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, said that the exploitation of women in Kashmir is being used as a weapon of war by the Indian Forces, to weaken the struggle.
“Atrocities against women out raging their chastity and committing rape should serve as an eye opener for International Human Rights Organization who should take note of the fact the chastity and morality of Kashmiri women was violated to suppress the voice of freedom,” Hurriyat (M) said in a statement.
The Hurriyat said there seems to be hardly any such example in the whole world of such crimes against women.
On the ‘Women’s Resistance Day’, a meeting was held at the Headquarters of Hurriyat in which a report documenting the Human Rights Violations committed against the Kashmiri women in past 25 years was released.
The day was observed to mark the 24th anniversary of Kunan Poshpora tragedy. 53 women were raped by an army unit in Kunan Poshpora village f Kupwara district on February 23, 1991.
As per the report, “rape, outrage of modesty and other forms of violence against women in the last 25 years have been used as a weapon of war in Kashmir.”
Quoting the interviews conducted by NGO “Medicins Sans Frontierers,” the report says, “11.6 percent of women said that they have been victims of sexual violence.”
The report states, “The most heinous crime against women was witnessed in Kunan Poshpora where the troopers of 4 Rajputana Rifles barged into the homes in the dark of the night and raped more than 50 women, on the intervening night of Feb 22-23 1991.”
Despite public furore, the report states that the responsibility was not fixed and the accused were roaming free. The report stated that the accused have not been produced in court, neither justice was done to the victim women even though an FIR regarding the incident stands registered in the concerned police station.
Due to adverse political situation and militarization, the report quoting National Health Survey says that 61 percent of married women in Kashmir are suffering from different types of women related health disorders which are much higher than India’s national average of 39 percent. Thousands of women are suffering from infertility which has saddened such families.
The report quoting a research project of Kashmir University says that the only Psychiatric Hospital of the valley 60 percent of the patients brought for treatment happens to be women, who suffer from psychiatric and mental disorders which have been directly or indirectly found to be a result of conflict situation. According to SKIMS research conducted on 112 young women suffering from PCOS, the report states 65 to 70 person women suffer from psychiatric ailments. Besides, the prevalence of hypertension among women have shown a considerable increase, the report adds.
Expressing strong concern over the condition of women, the Hurriyat Conference and its Human Rights Division have stressed upon the International Community to declare sexual and physical harassment on women in Kashmir as a war crime in accordance with the norms of International Law.
Annexed to the report are also documents relating International Principles and codes related to women’s rights in conflicts.