Women In Militants' Line Of Fire, Over 1,000 Killed
18 August 2004
The Hindustan Times
Muzaffarabad: It has been a particularly bad year for women in Jammu and Kashmir. So far, 53 women - mainly relatives of surrendered militants, informers and security personnel - have been brutalized and killed till August this year. These are official records, but the exact figures are more shocking. 'There are many more cases that go unreported. Rape cases are not reported at all. Sexually assaulted women very rarely come forward', said a police officer. The overall record of violence against women in the state is appaling - 1,019 killings, 247 abductions, 110 hangings and an unspecified number of rape cases. Militants have slit the throats of more than 20 women - most of them in the Rajouri, Poonch, Udhampur and Doda districts of Jammu region till August this year. These figures prove that militants have shunned their principle of sparing the lives of women and children while targeting their adversaries. The police officer also admitted that the record of killings and abductions was far less than the actual cases. In remote areas, families of victims bury bodies without informing the police and rarely speak out about incidents of terror and torture, he said. The latest casualty was Khurshida, killed because her brother, a former militant, had become a special police officer. Recently, a woman was raped by militants for three weeks and then defaced because her militant brother had surrendered.