The Kunan-Poshpora villages in Jammu and Kashmir came into the news in February 1991 when some soldiers were reportedly killed in a militant ambush. The villages before had never had a problem with the military. That changed in the intervening night of February 23-24,1991. An unspecified number of soldiers of the 4th Rajputana Rifles cordoned off the villages on the pretext of conducting a ‘search operation.’ All the men were taken out of their homes to another location for interrogation. Soldiers then went into the homes and raped and abused women through the night. The victims of the mass rape ranged in age from 13 to 80 years. Their numbers remained a matter of conjecture as only 53 or so married women filed FIRs and got themselves medically examined, that too several days later when finally their complaints were taken note of. The unmarried girls, said to number over 40, did not come forward as it was a matter of deep shame for them.
Since then there has been no justice for the men and women of Kunan-Posphpora. A delegation of eminent civil society and political representatives visited the villages on June 14,2013 and found the victims still suffering from trauma and anguish. The villages carry the stigma of rape, and young girls still find it difficult to get married, with the young boys , unable to bear the taunts, dropping out of schools and colleges . The psychological trauma is even more than the physical one.
The villagers are in urgent need of closure through justice. Please join us in signing this petition to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah urging them to:
1. Follow instructions of the State Human Rights Commission and re-open the criminal investigations into the incidents of 23 and 24 February 1991;
2. Set up a Special Investigating team supervised by the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir to ensure non-interference;
3. Make a serious and urgent effort to ensure Truth and Reconciliation/Closure in the twin villages to help the people feel they have been given justice, and enable them to move on with their lives.
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