Sexual abuse of Kashmiri women at the hands of Indian security Qadri Inzamam / Muhammad December 17, 2016
Some 50 Kashmiri women came together to demand that police reinvestigate a well-known case of mass rape. The women—teachers, students, journalists, human rights workers, lawyers, and other professionals—filed a public interest litigation case before India’s Jammu and Kashmir high court. The set of crimes, known as the Kunan Poshpora case, happened on February 23, 1991, when armed forces raped at least 32 teenaged, adult, and elderly women.
During a search operation in the Kupwara district, troops took men from their homes to interrogate them and raped the women who were left behind. The survivors, who at the time ranged from 13 to 80 years old, are still waiting for justice.
This is but one infamous example of conflict-related rape in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, a region that India and Pakistan have been fighting over for decades. When the two countries formed during the partition of 1947, the mostly Muslim Kashmiri population was promised a popular vote to decide which state it would be part of. But that vote never took place, and conflict broke out over the disputed territory. Violence has erupted over and over since then, with major armed conflict starting in 1989. As a secessionist movement bubbled up, India deployed military forces to tackle the insurgency and to repress a population of more than 10 million.