Tuesday, March 9, 2010

40 thousand widows in Kashmir: MKM

Chastity of 9000 women outraged in twenty years
Srinagar: Saying that there were around forty five thousand widows in Kashmir, Zamrooda Habib, Chairperson Muslim Khawateen Markaz, Monday alleged that “India used women as soft target in Kashmir.” Zamrooda who released a book on Kashmiri widows here, was speaking in a seminar “Woman of lost Paradise,” organized to celebrate International Women’s Day. “The number of women who were widowed in Kashmir in last twenty years is between fifteen thousand and forty five thousand,” Zamrooda said before releasing a book “Our Widows,” documenting the life of Kashmiri widows. She said that Kashmiri people will never forget Asiya Jan and Neelofar of Shopian, and thousands of other women whose chastity was outraged in Kashmir. “They were victims of Indian ferocity.” She lamented that Kashmiri women, who would not dare to venture out, were forced to make rounds of jails and detention center across India in search of their loved ones. “But the Indian legal system is not providing any justice to them,” said Zamrooda who herself spent five years in Delhi’s Tihar Jail. She called for encouraging women activism in Kashmir. “If women political activism is not encouraged, we ignore fifty percent of the humanity,” Zamrooda said. “We should encourage women activism,” she added. Ruing the lack of proper documentation of the Human rights Violations perpetrated in Kashmir during past twenty years, she alleged that Indian NGO’s were exploiting local youth in the name of Human Rights. “Our new generations are sensitive to the issue of documentation and for this they travel to far off areas,” Zamrooda said, adding “but they engage with Indian NGO’s who throw to the dust the data from Kashmir.” She appealed youth to collaborate with local organizations for data collection and documentation of incidents of past twenty years. Speaking on the occasion, senior pro-freedom leader and chief of Islamic students League, Shakeel Ahmad Bakshi said that India was presenting a Women’s Bill in parliament to empower its women at a time when we in Kashmir are commemorating those women whose chastity was outraged by Indians in Kashmir. “We are organizing Women’s Day against that nation which after violating the honour of our sisters and mothers is presenting a Women’s empowerment bill in its parliament,” said Shakeel Bhakshi.

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