Skip to comments.No Action In Kashmir Against Gang-Rape Criminals In Uniform
Posted on 04/22/2002 5:19:58 PM PDT by swarthyguy
By IOL South Asia Correspondent
NEW DELHI, 22 April (IslamOnline) - Five days after the latest incident of gang-rape in the Indian-administered Kashmir and, as usual, no action has been taken against the criminals in uniform, who belong to the army's Border Security Force (BSF). The story was broken by some mediamen three days later.
In a chilling incident at least three personnel of the notorious Border Security Forces 58 Battalion gang-raped a 17-year-old Gujjar girl on April 17 in Kullar, Anantnag district, 100 km from Srinagar, the summer capital of Kashmir.
The gang-rape took place at gun point in the presence of the girls widowed mother, relatives and neighbours.
The victims eldest sister, who was shocked at the barbarity of the crime, could not muster enough courage to give an account of whatever happened on that fateful day. After much cajoling and comforting, she burst out and said, They [BSF men] tore her clothes and raped her in front of me. She was crying as they one after another dropped their guns and took turns.
Not just I, my mother, my uncles and other relatives were also standing there, trying to rescue her but many of them [the BSF men] were pointing their guns at us, as they ruined my sister. I tried to close my eyes but then I could hear her cries. I dont know how will we live with this now.
The victims 60-year-old uncle refused to reveal the number of personnel involved in the gang-rape. He said, I feel ashamed of myself. I could not do anything to save her. She is an orphan and now if she lives, she will have to live with a stigma This humiliation will only go when we die.
A local police officer at the Pahalgam Police Station said, The girl is in a very bad shape. She cant walk and there are bruises all over her body. She is unable to sleep and refuses to talk . The family is worried that she may have become pregnant.
The monstrosity of the BSF personnel involved in the gang-rape left the villagers terror-stricken. Farooq Ahmad Raina, an eye witness to the rape, said, She was not able to stand on her feet, she was in extreme pain. They had even hit her in her stomach. Her face was also wounded and there was blood all around. She was constantly vomiting.
According to Raina, the trouble started when around 15 soldiers of a BSF patrol party were crossing the village. One of them started hitting the victim's uncle. The victim rushed to rescue him. Now the soldiers left the old man and went after her instead. Her relatives rushed to the spot but the BSF men encircled them pointing their guns at them and warned them not to move, otherwise they will shoot them all.
GS Gill, inspector general of the BSF, Kashmir Frontiers, admitted to the media that BSF personnel have committed the rape.
The identification parade was conducted in front of the deputy commissioner as per the rules and all the three BSF men whom the girl had pointed out have been arrested and court martial proceedings have been initiated against them, Gill pointed out.
According to sources, Jammu & Kashmir state chief minister Farooq Abdullah nor any high ranking government official has so far called upon the victim. Hurriyat Conference leaders, who make it a point to visit such victims, have only issued a brief statement condemning the crime. Mehbooba Mufti of the Peoples Democratic Party visited the victims family and offered help.
Union Home Minister LK Advani has said that strict action would be taken, but his statement is circumspect in the light of umpteen similar incidents, in which the guilty has not ever been punished or brought to book.
This is not for the first time that such a shameful and inhuman incident has taken place in the turbulent Kashmir. In the infamous Bijbehara massacre, the BSFs 74 battalion opened fire on a large crowd of unarmed protesters killing 37 men on the spot. The massacre took place on 22 October 1993.
Even after nine years not a single soldier or officer has been punished. The BSF has been in the news for many extra-judicial killings including custodial deaths. It has been charged with the execution of innocents and torture. But not a single accused has been convicted. Justice is avoided on the plea that this will affect the forces' morale.
What I don't understand is why the family had not yet murdered the girl for having become less than pure.
These guys usually do that you know.
Since she is not dead, the suggestion is this is propaganda - might even have an element of truth in it, but don't count on it.
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