Women’s Voice releases Fact-finding Report on Kashmir

A five member team of eminent activists, journalists and civil society members recently returned from Kashmir. The all-woman team has now shared its findings on the situation on the ground in the region that still remains by-and-large cut off from the rest of the country, the communication blackout enabling unspeakable excesses against the local population by the military.

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The team comprising Annie Raja, Kawaljit Kaur, Pankhuri Zaheer from National Federation Indian Women, Poonam Kaushik from Pragatisheel Mahila Sangathan and Syeda Hameed from Muslim Women’s Forum visited Kashmir between September 17 and 21. Apart from Srinagar, the women visited several villages in Shipian, Pulwama and Bandipora to take stock of ground realities. They have now released their report based on eye witness accounts and case studies of those who have actually suffered.

The report says, “Across all villages of the four districts, peoples’ experiences were the same. They all spoke of lights, which had to be turned off around 8PM after Maghreb prayers.” The report also says how men and boys seldom venture out after dark as they get picked up by security forces on trumped up charges. They rarely return, and if they do it is after suffering intense physical and psychological torture.

The report also goes on to document the complete breakdown of public healthcare in the region. This is not only because of cell phone networks and internet being suspended, but also because of public transport being suspended. There are also not enough ambulances.
The report ends with the following demands:

We Demand:
1. Withdraw the Army and Paramilitary forces with immediate effect
2. Immediately Cancel all cases/ FIRs and release all those, especially the youth who are under custody and in jail since the Abrogation of Article 370
3. Conduct inquiry on the widespread violence and tortures unleashed by the Army and other security personnel.
4. Compensation to all those families whose loved ones lost lives because of non-availability of transportation and absence of communication.
5. Immediately restore all communication lines in Kashmir including internet and mobile networks.
6. Restore Article 370 and 35 A.
7. All future decisions about the political future of Jammu and Kashmir must be taken through a process of dialogue with the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
8. All army personnel must be removed from the civilian areas of Jammu and Kashmir.
9. A time bound inquiry committee must be constituted to look into the excesses committed by the army.

The entire report may be read here:




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