Ambedkar University, Delhi and Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression invite you to observe and commemorate the Kashmiri Women’s Day of Resistance and the horrific mass sexual violence unleashed by the Indian Army against the villagers of Kunan and Poshpora, Kashmir.
Date and Time: 23rd of February, 2017 (twenty-six years after the incident) at 2:30 PM, Ambedkar University, Delhi (AUD), Kashmiri Gate Campus.
Jab Toot Girengi Zanjeerein
Commemorating Kashmiri Women’s Day of Resistance
On a cold February night in 1991, a group of soldiers and officers of the 4th Rajputana Rifles regiment of the Indian army entered two villages of Kunan and Poshpora in the remote district of Kupwara in Kashmir. The army claimed it was conducting ‘search and interrogation’ operations seeking out armed militants presumed to be hiding there. Instead, they pulled the men in the village out of their homes, subjected them to severe torture, including sexual assault and humiliation, and detained them all night. The women of the two villages were brutally gang-raped at gun-point; several women were sexually assaulted and stripped, and then left for dead in their own homes. The men were released in the morning and returned home to find the women raped and brutalized by the Indian army. Twenty-six years later, the memory of this mass rape, torture and humiliation by the men in uniform lingers in the valley. “Kunan Poshpora” and the day of the 23rd February has since become a symbol across Kashmir and beyond of women’s resistance to the militarization of this region by the State. Moreover, Kashmir was brought under the purview of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in 1990, after it had been in operation in several North Eastern States since 1958. Under this law, armed forces and other security forces in “disturbed areas” have the license to shoot to kill anyone on suspicion; make arrests without warrants; enter and search any home or establishment; detain and question anyone. Armed forces personnel and security forces have complete immunity for actions taken under this law, and their prosecution requires prior sanction of the government. RTI information has disclosed that Sanction for prosecution of armed forces even for egregious human rights violation has never been granted. Continue reading
Between the 5th and the 7th of May, 2016, a team of members from Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS) and independent activists and reporters visited villages in Bijapur following a series of recent reports of mass sexual violence and assault on adivasi women by security forces and police in the area. The team visited a few villages in the Gangalur thana area, following reports of violence during a search and combing operation carried out by police and security forces. Villagers reported several instances of loot, plunder, arrests and violence over the last couple of years. In one such recent operation in November 2015, a young man was shot dead and then falsely declared a Naxalite; two young women were stripped, abducted and held in captivity in the forest for two days and were sexually assaulted. In another operation in January 2016, three young girls were sexually assaulted, and a young mother was brutally gangraped. This report details findings over two visits.
9th May, 2016
(For a copy of the statement in Hindi, click here)
A team of activists from Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS) and independent women activists and reporters visited villages in Bijapur following a series of recent reports of mass sexual violence and assault on adivasi women by security forces and police in the area. Continue reading
Encountering Injustice : The Case of Meena Khalko
Synopsis – The film looks into an alleged encounter of a 15 year old adivasi girl, Meena Khalkho who lived in Village Karcha of Balrampur district of North Chhattisharh. She was killed by the police who alleged that she was a naxalite. Moving between the electronic news coverage of the incident and testimonies of her parents and other people from her village, the film investigates the claims of the police. Sexual violence, the attempt to suppress the truth of meena’s murder and the impunity of the culprits gradually comes to light. We also get a glimpse into how difficult and long the struggle for justice is in the conflict zones of the country. This film is part of a series of films called Loktantra Hazir Ho produced by the Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS).
As the history books told us how the victorious king’s armies plundered after the occupation – Will the state continue to do the same under the garb of naxal operations and road-development work?
As an all-India fact-finding team of women, we were visiting Bastar to look at the status of women in conflict areas. When our team reached Jagdalpur and Bijapur, we were informed by the local journalists that there has been talk of rape and encounter killings in the Sarkeguda area but they have not been able to access the areas to get accurate information as the security forces had stopped them.
On Friday, October 30, our team informed the District Collector before setting out so that there would not be any problem in accessing the area. It was market day in Basaguda. We met many people from the villages where the recent incidents had occurred. Not in ones and twos, but in tens and twenties, the women shared their experiences of sexual violence including – molestation and rape physical beating, verbal abuse and threats, destruction and looting of property near Basaguda, Bijapur by the security forces and police who had come in 3 – 4 batches when they patrolled the villages starting from October 19/ 20 till October 24, 2015. The affected villages are – Chinnagelur, Peddagelur, Gundam and Burgicheru.
The following letter to the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) brings to attaention reports of the rape of a school-going minor girl in Arki, Khunti district, Jharkhand, by an SPO (Special Police Officer), several other policemen, and CRPF men, through 2012 up to mid-2013. It urges the Commission to undertake a larger fact finding on the safety of school-going children, especially young girls, in Khunti District highlighting the vulnerability of children in these conflict areas. Several instances of violation of child rights in several parts of Jharkhand as part of anti-naxal operations have occured. In December 2010, in a case brought to its attention by WSS, where three minor girls in the same district were arrested for being ‘dangerous Naxals’ and treated as adults and sent to police custody, NCPCR’s intervention had led to their release in early January 2011.
Posted in Letters
Tagged Jharkhand, rape