Kashmiri Women: Victims Of Indian Aggression

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Omay Aimen

Since the independence of the Indian subcontinent, Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) has remained confronted with a state of oppression often converting to bloodshed with impunity. Millions of inhabitants have been influenced, either directly or indirectly, by the protracted fight against Indian oppression in the Indian-Occupied Kashmir region. This conflict in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IIOJ&K) has left its vicious marks on the womenfolk. For the duration of this protracted struggle of Kashmiris, the Indian soldiers have resorted to physical and mental assaults on women.
The muffled cries of intimidated souls reverberate through the valleys of IIOJ&K, shrouded in strife and frustration. India is the world’s most dangerous country for women, a moniker that is not taken lightly as the world struggles to understand its complexity. No one shall be subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment, according to Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). On the other side, for the past 70 years, Indian occupying forces have committed unprecedented atrocities against the women of IIOJ&K, subjecting them to gang rape and molestation.
The disturbing image of the ubiquitous menace that women confront is painted by the alarming statistics on sexual violence in India. The horrifying reality is that over 28,000 rape cases were reported in 2020, according to the Statista Research Department. Remarkably, an Indian publication stated that there was a 63% increase in crimes against women the next year. The finding from a diplomat news item that about 99% of rape and sexual assault incidents go unreported is perhaps more concerning. According to official government crime data, there is a recorded rape in India every fifteen minutes. This is an astoundingly high frequency. The scope of the problem is revealed by data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) for 2022, which shows that there were 4,45,256 recorded cases of crime against women-a 4% rise from the year before.
India is using the term “terrorist” to excuse the killing of freedom fighters and associating the struggle in Kashmir with terrorism. India hopes to gain recognition for suppressing the freedom movement internationally by disseminating false information about the extermination of freedom fighters. The people of Kashmir are hopeful that the international community won’t ignore or be indifferent to the suffering caused by the propagators of Hindutva. After Article 370 was revoked and Article 35 A was removed on August 5, 2019, the BJP and other Hindu extremists’ evil plans to target the Kashmiriyat in the IIOJK became even more apparent. According to Kashmir Media Service, there were about 11,256 incidences of molestation or group rape of women in IIOJ&K between January 1989 and December 2022. There is an alarming state of 22,954 women turning widows while 7,282 women lost their lives while in the custody of Indian forces.
Two reports on the state of human rights in IIOJ&K were released by the Office of the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights (OHCHR); the first report was made public on June 14, 2018, and the second, an updated report, was made public on July 8, 2019. According to the first report, India declined to keep an eye on the IIOJ&K’s human rights abuses. Both investigations referenced the Kunan-Poshpora mass rape case as well as a host of other human rights breaches, such as kidnappings, killings of civilians, and sexual assault, in addition to the widespread violations of human rights throughout IIOJ&K.
All of this exposes the horrible crimes being performed against the Kashmiri people in general and the women in particular, as well as the relentless manifestation of the BJP government’s vicious agenda of targeting through incremental steps. They first targeted the Kashmiri language (Koshur), the Kashmiri identity (Kashmiriyat), the introduction of new domicile laws, an amendment to the Citizenship Act regarding the national register of citizens, and the targeting of children, youth, freedom fighters, professors, doctors, professionals, journalists, mothers, daughters, and the ever-increasing number of rape cases of Journalists. In addition to altering the demographic makeup, this is a means of sowing discord in South Asia in order to further its hegemonic agenda and secure a position at the top of the global power rankings, whereby the world will only consider a select few nations for inclusion as superpowers. Through soft targeting and false propaganda, India’s objective is based on global engineering, linguistic, demographic, geographic, electoral, and educational manipulation.
In IIOJ&K, the “state sponsorship” of violence is indeed a human rights violation. This is the reason why not a single Indian officer has ever been required to appear in court or be found guilty in the last 30 years, despite multiple media accounts of atrocities and massacres. The Modi-led regime in India persists in its oppression despite constant media coverage from both domestic and foreign sources, mostly because of a lack of international pressure. The world must realize, that the crimes India committed in IIOJ&K must cease if a regional catastrophe is to be averted. In other international justice institutions, Pakistan consistently advocates for the rights of Kashmiris in this regard. In addition to their interests, international powers should act to stop this grave infringement of fundamental rights. If not, these nations’ equal role in this persecution will always be remembered by history.
The author is a freelance contributor who writes on issues concerning national and regional security. She can be reached at omayaimen333@gmai.com