Khurshid ‘Ashamed’ of Kunan Poshpora; Victims, HR Groups Unimpressed

SRINAGAR: More than twenty two years after the Kunan Poshpora mass rape, someone finally from the power corridors made an acknowledgement of the gruesome crime, even if half-heartedly. Foreign Affairs Minister, Salman Khurshid, who is on a two day visit to the Valley said on Friday that he felt ashamed of Kunan Poshpora “if it happened in my country”.

“I’m ashamed of Kunan Poshpora,” said Khurshid in an interaction with the civil society members here. “I’m ashamed if it happened in my country. Making people accountable for what happened is necessary,” he added.

This partial-admission has come on the heels of a sustained campaign launched by human rights group, Coalition of Civil Societies (CCS) that has also filed a petition in this regard.

Many Indian, Kashmiri and international groups and civil society members too have been voicing their concern over the blatant unaccountability that has made this tragedy look all the more heinous.

CCS coordinator, Khurram Parvez, while responding to the partial mea-culpa by the union minister said mere acknowledgement was no substitute for justice. The victims and their supporters got a shot in the arm when a local court in Kupwara ordered the police to make fresh investigations into the incident. 

“It took twenty two years for someone in the Indian govt to partially acknowledge the Kunan Poshpora mass rape. It is not enough. Justice cannot be substituted by mere acknowledgements, said Khurram. “Prosecution of 125 accused Rajputana Rifles personnel is the only meaningful response required. Anything else, including the present lip service, will be construed as sustained impunity for the perpetrators,” he told Kashmir Observer.

“We don’t need their acknowledgement. We know the very long list of evil deeds of the Indian troops in Kashmir and we know what it means when the State was silent and provided impunity to the perpetrators for so many years, which continues to this date,” said Samreen Mushtaq who is one of the signatories in the petition.

“When lies can’t be sustained, truth comes out. We need justice and mere  statements after decades of lies and denial of justice don’t impress us,” said Uzma Qureshi, another signatory.

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