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Kashmiri women break their silence over prevalent institutionalized sexual abuse by Islamic terrorists in the valley

"They took me forcibly just after he was killed. I was abused in every manner conceivable...Torture and humiliation on an unimaginable scale," said Bismah, one of the victims who endured sexual abuse at the hands of Islamic terrorists in the valley.

Women in Kashmir have finally spoken up about the horrific crimes they have witnessed as a result of escalating Islamic militancy and terrorism in the region. The amount of attention given to the opposite side of the narrative pales in comparison to the pain of these ladies, who sob as they remember what they went through.

Their sorrow never made it to the public eye in a society like Kashmir, which is essentially conservative and highly patriarchal at its roots. These women have spoken out about how they have been sexually abused by Islamic militants who profess to be morally superior in their jihad.

A report published by The Diplomat details the harrowing tale of these victims, who were sexually abused by the Islamic terrorists in the valley. Here are the accounts of a few women who describe how they were subjected to prolonged harassment by Islamist terrorists. (To keep their identities hidden, their names have been changed.)

Afroza from Baramulla

Afroza stated that like the militants anywhere else, they also sought food from the locals. “First they came asking for food and shelter, then they demanded this and that,” said Afroza. “We gave them the best we could arrange but over time, they started to come frequently,” she added.

She said that when they started offering them food, they made it a habit to come and ask for everything. Later on, they came and occupied one of the rooms in their house. “In our tiny home, we only had two rooms, and they took over one of them. We ladies were confined to the kitchen for the whole day,” she said

Islamic women
Afroza(Source: The Diplomat)

They used to call her by different excuses. “Bring us water, they’d request from their room,” she said. “And they’d grab me and start fondling and heckling me as soon as I walked in. I was about 12 years old at the time. I was completely unaware of what was happening to me. All I knew was that something wasn’t right and that it hurt. And it went on like way for a long time,” she adds remembering the mental and physical trauma she faced during those times.

Afroza’s younger sister, who was just 9 years old at the time, was also teased by the jihadists. When their father pleaded that they leave the children alone and not torment them, they brought him to the market the next day and openly shot him.

Bismah from Kupwara

Bismah recalled the night when her husband, a driver, was assassinated on suspicion of being an informant. “They took me forcibly just after he was killed. I was abused in every manner conceivable…Torture and humiliation on an unimaginable scale,” she said.

Islamic women
Bismah(Source: The Diplomat)

“The murder of my husband wasn’t enough revenge,” she remarked. ” Neither was the first gang rape. “My torment went on for years after that. The nightmare that began when I was 18 lasted until I was 27,” she added. “Injustice… Plain Injustice… Only Allah knows how much I have suffered… Suffered in every way possible,” she remarked, her eyes welling up with tears.

Chasfeeda from Uri

When asked about why she did not complain about such heinous crimes against her, Chasfeeda, who hails from Uri said “To whom would I report? I was impoverished, ignorant, and powerless. Nobody was interested in listening to what I had to say. In such cases, no one takes the poor’s side.”

Islamic women
Chasfeeda.(Source: The Diplomat)

A group of terrorists who visited her village on a regular basis took her husband away under the guise of some work. “They camped in front of our house and refused to go. They urged me to feed them and ate every crumb of what I had at home. They refused to leave even after they had finished eating. They then pushed their way onto me and raped me,” she said.

“I’m not sure what group they belonged to or what their politics were.  However, whatever morality and piety they preach is false. Simply to deceive people. Only Allah knows what wickedness lies hidden in their souls,” she added. She explained, tearfully, that this had gone on for three to four years.

“There were so many of them that raped me… I’ve lost count. In the dim light, I couldn’t determine if it was four or eight individuals at a time. They ate away at me until all of my flesh was taken clean off, leaving me bone dry,” she said this while displaying her skinny hands and explaining that she works in someone’s home.

Fatima from Ganderbal

The militants initially arrived in Fatima’s home in Ganderbal in 2005, when she was only 14 years old. “The militants came on the door and requested water,” she explained. “When we opened the door, they noticed me. They sought out any opportunity to visit us from then on,” she added.

Eventually, her father, day labour, was killed not far from their house. With the guardian of the house no longer there, she became easy prey. “They came to our house, stripped me naked, and requested me to sleep on the bed with them. When I resisted, they just grabbed my hair and dragged me down,” she added.

In a tone of misery, she said “After a while, all I asked was that they not take me on the cold, hard floor – my back couldn’t handle it, and the unborn baby inside me would die, I told them.  But they did not listen.”

“Is it jihad? Is this their piety?” she said in a tone of anger. “I was spoilt – no man wanted to marry me,” Fatima tried to explain. “As a result, they married me to a handicapped, wheelchair-bound first cousin from another village.  They didn’t stop even then. They discovered my new address and began to visit there as well. They didn’t stop even after I’d had my first child with my spouse and was expecting my second,” She added in her closing remarks.

Fatima had significant pregnancy difficulties and spinal damage as a result of the extended violent sexual assault.

The Jihadi atrocities in the valley

Jihadist-Islamist militancy arose as a popular movement in the valley even before the displacement of Kashmiri Pandits in the 1990s. Separatist leaders and Islamic fundamentalists echoed their voices to mobilise support for the movement which was spread to seek liberation from the Indian State.

People, particularly women, were encouraged to lend a hand to the jihadists by feeding, washing, and providing shelter and support to those who fought against the Indian forces.

Numerous extremist political figures in Kashmir also urged women to dedicate their bodies to the terrorists fighting the “holy war”, becoming “proud wives” and mothers. Women-led movements such as the Dukhtaran-e-Millat demanded that harsh Shariah be implemented, and women were beaten for not adhering to dress codes and Islamic morality standards.

However, what turned out of these actions is nothing but the continued oppression of women and people who opposed such views. The politics in the valley refused to acknowledge any such atrocities committed by fundamentalists and Shariah upholders.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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