J&K ‘mass-rape’ victims break silence,vow to fight

After suffering silently for more than two decades,Kunan Poshpora victims alleged mass rape

Written by BASEERA RAFIQI | Srinagar | Published: June 23, 2013 2:36:15 am

After suffering silently for more than two decades,the victims of the 1991 Kunan Poshpora alleged mass rape went public for the first time Saturday,saying they will “fight for justice till their last breath”.

“We have suffered but India should get exposed,” said a victim. “We will fight till we have the strength. We appeal all the people,from the city and rural Kashmir to support us in our fight”.

“Today,we commit: we will fight. We will not forget. We will not forgive. We will monitor the police investigation. We will extend absolute and complete support to the people of Kunan Poshpora when dealing with further investigation,” said a group of 50 women civil society members which recently filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the J&K High Court seeking re-investigation into the case. “We commit to hold accountable anyone who supported the atrocities in Kunan Poshpora in February 1991,or stood by silently,or chose to cover up the truth.”

The women’s group called for the boycott of the then Press Council of India chairman who had termed the allegations false and the victims shameless women.

Speakers alleged that the PCI team “didn’t visit the village and prepared their report at the army’s brigade headquarters” in Baramulla.

The press conference was held three days after a Kupwara court directed re-opening of the 22-year-old Kunan Poshpora alleged mass rape case and asked the police to further investigate it.

“This court directs further investigation unravel the identity of those who happen to be the perpetrators,” Judicial Magistrate Kupwara J A Geelani had said while dismissing the conclusion made by the police in its closure report.

On the night of February 23 in 1991,soldiers of 4 Raj Rifles of Army’s 68 Brigade cordoned-off the Kunan Poshpora village of Kupwara. The soldiers allegedly forced the men out of their homes and confined them in two houses of the village,and barged into the house and allegedly gangraped 36 women.

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