Srinagar, Oct 19: The State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) on Wednesday asked the state government to re-open the Kunanposhpora “mass rape case” that sent shudders across the Valley in 1991.
Sources told Greater Kashmir the SHRC also recommended Rs 2 lakh compensation for each victim and asked the government to prosecute the then Director Prosecution.
This is for the first time such a step has been taken by the Commission. The move came after the SHRC recorded evidences in the case.
The Commissioner Secretary Home B R Sharma said the government has not received the copy of the recommendations as yet. “We will study it first and then take the action accordingly,” Sharma added.
Kunanposhpora, a small village in frontier district of Kupwara, witnessed one the worst incidents in the history of Kashmir’s political turmoil – the alleged mass rape – during the intervening night of February 23 and 24 in 1991, allegedly by the soldiers of 4 Raj Rifles of 68 Brigade.
After the incident Police had lodged an FIR under section 376, 452 and 342 at police station Trehgam against the Army. To get the case reopened has been the long pending demand of the locals.
“As the militancy was at its peak in 1991, not much could be done and investigations were left half way,” a police official said. “None of the erring soldiers were either arrested or booked.”
Soldiers, according to the locals, cordoned off the village on that fateful night and asked men to assemble in an open ground. “Later they barged into our houses and outraged the chastity of women irrespective of age. They didn’t even spare a 5-year-old child and 95-year-old lady. Those who tried to save the dignity and honour of their sisters, mothers and wives were beaten mercilessly,” locals allege.
Residents of Kunanposhpora have been living with social stigma for the past 20-years. After the incident many women who were married in other areas were divorced. “Even today marriage proposals of the girls are turned down. Many girls have become overage and their chances of getting married are bleak,” they added.
Publish Date: 20-10-11 3:05 AM