Srinagar, February 23: As occupied Kashmir commemorates the anniversary of Kunanposhpora incident as Kashmiri Women’s Résistance Day, justice continues to elude the victims of mass rape even after the passage of twenty-three years. On the intervening night of February 23 and 24 in 1991, the troops had gang-raped around 100 women in Kunanposhpora area of Kupwara during a siege and search operation.
The horrific memories of the incident are still fresh in the minds of the victims. “The memories of the horrific incident that shattered our life continue to haunt us,” said a group of the victims in a media interview. “Ironically, the involved troopers are yet to be punished despite evidence against them,” they stated.
On marking the anniversary of the incident as Kashmiri Women’s Résistance Day, the victims said that it was a good opportunity to raise the voice against the double standards of India and silence of international organizations on the case.
The victims said that the incident changed the course of their life. “Marriage proposals of our girls are turned down. Many girls have become overage and their chances of getting married are bleak due to stigma of being the kin of rape victims,” they said.
“Due to mass rape, my body got partially paralyzed,” a victim said.
After the incident one of the victims gave birth to a girl child with fractured leg on March 25, 1991. “After raping me, the troopers kicked my abdomen injuring my unborn baby. She was born with a fractured leg,” she said.
The villagers said that many victims suffered from psychological disorders due to trauma. “Several of the victims died due to non-availability of proper medical treatment and counseling,” they said.
The victims fear that like Pathribal fake encounter case the troops involved in the gory incident might get away under the protection of draconian law, Armed Forces Special Powers Act.