ISLAMABAD: As the world is observing the International Widows Day, Kashmiri women continue to suffer at the hands of Indian troops, police and dreaded agencies in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).
According to a report released by the Research Section of Kashmir Media Service on the occasion of the International Widows Day, today, the unabated Indian state terrorism rendered 22,944 women widowed since January 1989 till date as their husbands were martyred by Indian troops and police personnel.
It said around 2,500 women have been forced to live as half widows during the past 34. The women whose husbands were subjected to custodial disappearance after arrest by Indian army and police are referred to as half widows.
According the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons and other human rights groups in IIOJK, between 8,000 to 10,000 men have disappeared in the custody of Indian troops and police personnel since 1989, it said. For years, half widows in IIOJK have been running from one Indian army and paramilitary camps to another trying to find whereabouts of their husbands, it added.
The report maintained that 681 women have been martyred by the troops and paramilitary forces since January 2001 till date. It pointed out that womenfolk constitutes the majority of the Kashmiris suffering from multiple psychic problems. “Due to unending agony, Kashmiri widows, half widows are suffering from psychological problems. As per a study, women comprise more than 60% of psychiatric patients in IIOJK,” it added.
The report said the Kashmiri women are targeted for raising their voice against Indian brutalities. Dozens of women including Aasiya Andrabi, Fehmeeda Sofi, Naheeda Nasreen and others are languishing in different jails of India and IIOJK for their affiliation with the ongoing right to self determination movement, it said.
The report underscored that the International Widows Day is a reminder for the world to realize the plight of Kashmiri widows and half-widows.
Meanwhile, APHC leaders, Zamruda Habib, Yasmeen Raja and rights activists in their separate statements in Srinagar said the Kashmiri women are the worst victims of Indian state terrorism in the occupied Jammu and Kashmir. They said thousands of women have lost their husbands, brothers and sons as they were martyred or subjected to custodial disappearance by Indian troops. The women are in pain as the authorities have not been handing over dead bodies of their martyred dear ones, to them, for the past three years in the territory.