Indian forces have raped, molested more than 11,000 Kashmiri women in 3 decades: report

Indian forces martyred over 2,300 women, leaving close to another 23,000 widowed, Kashmir Media Service reports

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Kashmiri women mourn at the death of a civilian — who was killed during clashes with Indian security forces — during his funeral in Prichoo village in Pulwama, Kashmir, December 15, 2018. REUTERS/Danish Ismail/Files

SRINAGAR/KARACHI: Indian forces have sexually assaulted and gang-raped more than 11,000 women in illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir during the past three decades, according to a report from a local news outlet, which added that another 2,342 women were martyred as well.

Indian forces' aggression and violence in the illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir region has also left close to 23,000 women widowed, the Kashmir Media Service (KMS) said in its report earlier today, published in light of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

Read more: Pakistan reaffirms commitment to empower women on intl' day against violence

The 2,342 women victims were among 95,723 civilians martyred by Indian soldiers in total.

The Indian forces use harassment and molestation as a weapon of war to not only suppress Kashmir's liberation struggle but to deter activists and leaders from their campaigns using fear that the women they love would be subjected to sexual abuse. 

The KMS, citing a report by the Research Section of Kashmir Media Service, said Indian troops molested 11,224 women during the period, noting that "the Kashmiri women have been the worst victims of the harrowing conflict, which rendered 22,923 women widowed since 1989".

The report cited by the KMS also underscored how Indian troops routinely engaged in sexually harassing Kashmiri women to suppress the ongoing liberation struggle.

Moreover, over 100,000 were suffering from mental health issues due to the violence perpetrated by Indian police and troops, the publication wrote, quoting the report.

According to the KMS, Kashmiri leaders have consistently demanded impartial probes into the cases of rape, murder and other human rights violations against women including Kunanposhpora mass rape and Shopian tragedy.

"Over 100 women were gang raped by Indian troops at Kunanposhpora in Kupwara in February 1991 while two women, Aasiya and Neelofar were abducted, raped and subsequently killed by Indian men in uniform in Shopian in May 2009," the publication wrote.

"A 9-year old girl, Asifa Bano, was abducted and gang raped by Indian police personnel and fanatics affiliated with extremist Hindu organizations in Kathua area of Jammu region in January 2018," it added.