10 March, 2018

On the occasion of the International Women’s day, Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) commemorates the struggles of Kashmiri women against the repression of the Indian state. Since the outbreak of counter-insurgency, the Indian state subjected thousands of Kashmiri men to enforced disappearances which left behind hundreds of widows and their children and ageing mothers.

 However, instead of choosing to be victims, these widows and mothers of the victims choose to fight and continue to do so in an extensively militarized atmosphere. APDP commemorates the spirit of these women. These women not only kept the flame of pursuit of justice alive by fighting for their dear ones but showed exemplary courage to take on a state that is outrageously brutal.

The state has been using sexual violence against Kashmiri women as a war tactic to crush the dissenting population.  In the past the armed forces protected by the impunity provided by the state have committed mass rapes, systemic sexual violence against women. The incidents of Kunan-Poshpora mass rape, Asiya-Neelofar Shopian double rapes cases are stark examples of how the state has used rape as a weapon against Kashmiri women and how the state has protected the perpetuators.

Recently, the brutal rape and murder of a minor girl, Asifa, at the hands of a Special Police Officer (SPO) of Jammu Kashmir Police again displayed the extent of impunity provided by the state to the perpetuator. APDP condemns the state’s unwillingness to bring the perpetuator of the rape case to justice. APDP demands that the systemic sexual violence against Kashmiri women must stop and all those army, police and state backed militia personal who are involved in the rapes of women in Kashmir should be prosecuted and punished.

In its fight against the enforced disappearance, APDP demands whereabouts of all those people who were abducted by the state forces. The practice of enforced disappearance has not stopped. Recently, on 31 August 2017, Manzoor Ahmed a resident of Devar, Kupwara was abducted by the Indian Army belonging to the 27 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) unit, stationed at Trimukh top in Kupwara and the state has not yet been able return Manzoor to his dear one. APDP again reiterates its demand that all those who were disappeared should be returned to their families.