Kashmir Council-EU has launched a two-week campaign today (Friday), 23rd February 2018 for the remembrance of the ruthless 27-year old forgotten incident of Kunan Poshpora in Indian occupied Kashmir.
It is essential to remember that it was the night of February 23, 1991, when the military personnel of the 4 Rajputana Rifles of Indian Army cordoned off the two villages Kunan and Poshpora in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district under the guise of house to house searches, and then gang-raped dozens of the women of these villages.
Since 2014, every year the 23rd February is commemorated as Kashmiri Women’s Resistance Day, inspired by the struggles of the survivors of the mass rape and torture in the twin Kashmiri villages of Kunan and Poshpora. The two and a half decades-long struggle of the survivors from Kunan and Poshpora is a part of the larger ongoing struggle in the Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir, against the institutionalized and structural violence of the Indian State in the region.
In a statement, Chairman of the Kashmir Council-EU Mr. Ali Raza Syed said, the campaign will highlight the inhumane incident of Kunan-Poshpura through seminars and meetings with EU’s most important institutions and personalities, as well as high ranking officials and representatives of various human rights organisations based in Europe.
The theme of the campaign is the remembrance of the gang-rape of Kunan-Poshpora and other sexual violence and human rights abuses committed by Indian occupation forces in the occupied territory.
The campaign will be continued until a conference is held on the role of Kashmiri women on the International Women’s Day, 8th of March in the premises of the European Parliament in Brussels. The aim of the Conference will be to explore the need for mental health counseling and therapy for women suffering from Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of trauma (such as rape, abuse, etc.). Mental health disorders and psychosocial problems arising from conflict need to be addressed as part of post-conflict reconstruction and reconciliation efforts, the statement said.
In his statement, Mr Ali Raza added, “We believe that having such a campaign, including seminars and meeting EU officials and human rights organisations based in Europe, will increase the awareness of human rights violations committed by Indian forces in the region of Jammu and Kashmir. It is a way to show solidarity with the oppressed people of Kashmir, especially victims of sexual violence such as survivors of Kunan-Poshpora and other rape cases in Occupied Kashmir. The campaign will also raise awareness about the exploitation of black laws, the extrajudicial killings, massive use of pellet guns on faces of the innocent civilians in Occupied Kashmir.”