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Saturday, 7 October 2017

Kashmir 'mass rape' survivors fight for justice

More than 26 years ago, Indian soldiers allegedly raped more than 30 women in the Kashmiri villages of Kunan and Poshpora. Those who survived the attack are still fighting for justice, as Aliya Nazki from BBC Urdu reports.

Kashmir 'mass rape' survivors fight for justice
Kashmir 'mass rape' survivors fight for justice


It was 23 February 1991. The people of Kunan, a tiny village in Indian administered Kashmir's Kupwara district, were retiring for the night after a cold winter day. Zooni and Zarina (not their real names) were also getting ready to go to bed when they heard a series of loud knocks on the door.
At the time, India had started a large scale military operation in an attempt to control a popular armed insurgency against Indian rule in Kashmir. So-called "cordon and search" operations, locally called "crackdowns", were becoming routine and still persist to this day.
In the 1990s, this would entail Indian security forces isolating an area, getting all the men out, and then searching the houses. The men would be paraded in front of an informer - and suspected militants or those deemed sympathisers would be picked up and taken away.
When Zooni and Zareena saw soldiers on their doorstep that night, they thought it was the beginning of another of these so-called crackdowns. The men were taken away, and the soldiers came in, as was the established practice. But remembering that day makes their eyes fill with tears even now.

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Posted By Raela Hafizi

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