Kunan victims vow to continue struggle for justice

SRINAGAR: “During the election campaign in 2014-15 Mehbooba Mufti visited Kunan village and promised us ‘if you vote me to power, I will ensure Justice is delivered but today she has banned the commemoration event,” A Women from Kunan told media persons at a press conference in Srinagar on Thursday.

The press conference was held by women based solidarity group following the ban imposed by Srinagar District Commissioner on the commemoration event that was scheduled to be held on Thursday to observe the 26th anniversary of Kunan mass rapes at a hotel in Srinagar.

She said that this is “ironical” to have a women chief minister imposing the ban on the event about sexual violence. “Mehbooba Mufti cannot silence us.”

Kunan, a distant Kupwara village had 23 of its women raped by soldiers during the intervening night of February 22 and 23, 26 years back. The case was denied and it eventually led to a renewed judicial process. SHRC had ruled for the case re-opening.

A male survivor Ghulam Ahmad who was subjected to torture that night said, “Government thinks that by banning the event they can silence us but they are wrong. “We are going to fight unless and until justice is delivered.”

A member of the solidarity group Munazah Rashid told the press that the event was supposed to be held to remember those witnesses of that night who expired during the course of the legal battle.

Another women survivor said. As many as five victims, including four women, have so far passed away during these years.

Mohammad Amin, an ageing survivor, who attended the conference, said that if we had come to know that government has banned the Srinagar event we would have held the event in Kunan. “And seeing the government’s response we have decided that from next year onwards we will commemorate it in Kupwara.”

They said the approach of the government towards the case has been non-serious.

As of now, the Kunan case is listed before the Supreme Court registry on 02 March 2017.

The petition has been filed before Supreme Court by JK Government.

The survivors said that it is highly regrettable that JK Government has taken our case to Delhi. “We urge Mehbooba Mufti government to bring the case back to Srinagar,” they told press.

A member of the solidarity group said that government is buying time to delay the justice.

“The government is just waiting for all the survivors to expire but even the small children are determined to fight till the case reaches to a logical conclusion,”

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