28 years on, victims of Kunan poshpora mass rape cry for justice | KNO

Victims narrate gory tales, say even world paid deaf ears to their pleas
28 years on, victims of Kunan poshpora mass rape cry for justice | KNO

Kashmir News Observer (KNO)

Srinagar, February 22 (KNO) : Despite passing of almost 28 years the survivors of army rape and torture in twin villages in northern Kashmiri’s kupwara district claim the failure of judiciary cum security wing for failing to provide the justice to the dozens of men women who fell to the highhandedness of Indian army on 23 February in 1991 with people claiming the theft of normal life after the incident which they say brought shame to entire tribe. The elderly residents while taking to KNO narrated the gory day, as how the people shouting in pain were left helpless which totally changed the world for the people residing in the twin villages named as Kunan-Poshpora. An elderly survivor, Gulzar Ahmad dar who claims to be 104 years old, Said that, on 23 February at about 9pm in the evening a local army regiment barged into our village and none was allowed to move outside the village, all the entry and exit points were completely seized, in the mean time all the men in our valley were asked to move out of our houses and assemble at one place while as most of the women’s who later turned to be victims, Almost 28 women’s including, teenagers, Newly married, pregnant, and elderly were raped by groups of army men without any mercy. The cordon continued till next morning not a single person was spared, one who tried to save anyone from the hands of army were tortured mercilessly, Gulzar said. In the morning on 24 February we came to know about the whole happenings in our entire village as what our women and men had gone through whole night, The next morning after when people living in near by areas came to know about the incident they came for our rescue, with blood stains the raped women, tortured men were taken to hospital in worse condition, that day seemed to be the Despite when police and other security agencies registered the cases but not a single person has been convicted for the mass rape and torture to date, Gulzar questioned. He said that, had authorities then swung into action to apprehend the accused we wouldn't have been living such a shameful life to date, my knee was also broken in the torture than, which left me half paralyzed since then. While gulzar contradicted over the Army claims of harboring the militants, he said that there was no militant taking shelter that time but army wanted to threaten us. Ahmad bhat, who claims to have lost his eyesight completely during the torture he said that, Army caught hold of me, my relatives and tortured us whole night during which I lost my eyesight completely, the incident has darkened my whole life since then. Another survivor cum eye witness, told KNO, that in the evening Army's 24RR a regiment from Panzgam laid complete siege in the area and asked all the men to come out of their homes who were tortured with Chili powder water inserted into them and women were raped forcefully including the 8-9 months pragenet women, among the rape victims few have died due to worsened medical condition. The army raped almost 28 women’s and tortured dozens of men among which many were paralyzed for the rest of their life, many massacres and rape incidents have surfaced in Kashmir in the past as well but none has been convicted for their wrong doing, why are still authorities still silent over the Kunan-poshpora and likewise incidents. The local residents raised questioned over the central government regarding the recent incident that surfaced in Pulwama of south Kashmir, in which almost 49 CRPF troopers were killed, they said that when government can highlight such issues why can't they give justice to us since when whole world is well awear about the happening, the residents told KNO. The survivors said that, We have lost faith in the Indian judiciary system since we haven't been given justice we deserved, "we still demand the culprits to be punished by our hands". The pain we went through we want them to taste the same by our own hands. Mohammad Amin sheikh a local witness cum relative of victim, who is also closely in touch with the lawyer at Supreme court said that, about five years have gone since when not a single hearing has taken place. Amin claimed that, the men (Authorities) in power are trying their best to close the case. But we still stand for our demand," we demand capital punishment for the culprits". Amin claimed that, the case was shifted from High court srinagar to Supreme court stating that, medical allowance and maintenance to be given to all the rape victim women, but to no avail so far, how can we expect the Justice to be delivered since when hearing didn't take place for last 5 years now. The women folk cum victims who faced the pain and went through forceful rape by group of Army men didn't wanted to face the camera as they claim many of the times, teams from, security wings, NGOs, and others including media persons took away our take and we narrated all the ordeal as what we went through but to date nothing has been done in this regard none among the culprits has been convicted for their involvement, They told KNO. The survivors told KNO that, we still want the culprits to be punished for what they have done with us, we’re still unable to live a normal life despite when 28 years have gone past, still many of people taunt our women folks, our young generation feels ashamed of introducing themselves to other. That incident has brought shame to our whole tribe still we're unable to live a normal life, they said. The incident has severely affected the normal lives of our children who always felt ashamed of living to their expectations, which has also directly impacted over their social and educational life as well, that incident is still as an identity for our children whenever they have to introduce themselves out of the tribe. Its pertinent to mention here that, on 23 February 1991, kunan-Pohspora twin village in northern Kashmir’s kupwara district witnessed the mass rape and torture during a cordon and search operation laid in the area, flowing which 28 women’s were raped and dozens of men faced torture. After the news regarding the incident spread all over, army had claimed the presence of militants in the area following which cordon and search operation was laid in the area. Human rights commission has also intervened in the matter seeking justice for the victims, compensation and culprits to be punished. While as the local residents while taking to KNO, Claimed that not a single victim has been provided compensation neither medical allowance.(KNO)