SRINAGAR: In the backdrop of massive protests in Delhi following gang rape of a Delhi girl last week, a group of students today staged protest here to seek justice for the rape victims in Kashmir.
“We welcome justice for the rape victim in Delhi but at the same time we demand that justice for all such victims in Kashmir especially those who were raped in Kunan Poshpora in early 1990’s,” the protesting students said outside the Press Enclave here.
The protesters assembled at Press Enclave under the banner of Youth Brigade of Kashmir and later dispersed peacefully.
They were carrying placards demanding justice for victims of Kunan Poshpora and other such cases in Kashmir and held a candle light vigil.
Dozens of women were allegedly raped by security forces during a crackdown in Kunan Poshpora village in Kupwara district of north Kashmir on February 23, 1991.
Meanwhile independent MLA Er Rashid criticized the civil society, media and politicians of India for allegedly showing bias towards rape victims of Kashmir.
Addressing a public meeting at Lawoosa Handwara, he said that Kashmiris have a right to seek answer from rest of the country that why those people pelting stones on police and damaging public property in the streets of New Delhi and elsewhere are not being treated the same way as those in Kashmir who protest against more heinous crimes taking place here.
He said that dozens of minors seeking justice in similar cases and other human rights violations have been booked under draconian PSA in Kashmir while those miscreants pelting stones in the streets of New Delhi have full patronage of civil society, media and Indian politicians.
Stone pelters are stone pelters whether they hail from Kashmir or Delhi and principle of natural justice demands that irrespective of the cause for which he or she is pelting stones, they should be given same treatment, MLA said, adding a Kashmiri stone pelter whether he or she is minor or an adult, a man or a woman, is booked under draconian PSA and their career ruined, he said.
Er Rashid asked on the day when thousands were pelting stones on the streets of New Delhi claiming to do so for protection and the honour of women, why an innocent handicapped girl namely Zahida Akhtar was detained at police station in Anantnag for her alleged involvement in stone pelting in 2010. While on the one side strong voices are being raised for removing Delhi Police Commissioner for Lathicharge on stone pelters but on the other side in Kashmir the yard stick for providing promotions to Jawans and officers is that how many unarmed Kashmiri peaceful protesters they have sent behind bars in national interest.
He said that after getting assurances from Home Minister to Prime Minister and Sonia Gandhi to Sushma Sawraj protesters were still engaged in tearing uniform of policemen and dragging men in uniform in the streets of New Delhi but still Indian media is charging police for using extra and unnecessary force on protesters. Under such circumstances Indian media should ask their conscience how was it justified that on similar protests in Kashmir 120 Kashmiris were killed by police.
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.