Kashmir: Do you remember Kunan Poshpora? Surviving rape and collective resistance

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Brave women of Kashmir prove they are stronger than the rapists

(Image via Kashmiri Women’s Resistance Day)

Today (Tuesday) is Kashmiri Women’s Resistance Day, which is also the anniversary of Kunan Poshpora an incident of mass rape and torture in Indian occupied Kashmir. As Catch News highlighted, “on the evening of 23 February, 1991, a group of soldiers belonging to the 4th Rajputana Rifles conducted a cordon-and-search operation in the twin villages of Kunan and Poshpora in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kupwara district”. This operation of state violence created memories which would haunt the people of Kashmir for years to come and provoke a decades long campaign for truth and justice. See following link for background,

25 years on, remembering the shame of Kunan-Poshpora

http://www.catchnews.com/national-news/kunan-poshpora-mass-rape-incident-kashmir-1991-kashmir-news-jammu-and-kashmir-1456153215.html

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Book cover “Do You Remember Kunan Poshpora”

(Image via Kashmiri women’s resistance day 23 Feb 2016)

Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society held an event to mark the release of the recently published book, “DO YOU REMEMBER KUNAN POSHPORA?” which is published by Zubaan Publishers.

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Authors discuss their book release (Image posted by Muzamil Wagay)

The programme featured a presentation by Kunan Poshpora mass rape survivors, followed by a discussion with the authors – Ifrah Butt, Eessar Batool, Natasha Rather, Munaza Rashid and well known feminist writer/publisher Urvashi Butalia and author Navsharan Singh. The discussion was moderated by Riyaz Masroor.

Listen to the authors discuss their book,

 

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Rape and devastation (Image via Kashmir Life)

Waqas Khan, poet and Srinagar-based journalism graduate wrote the following poem remembering Kunan Poshpora…

Let Candles Cry Full Tonight

Let women and candles cry full tonight
For Kunan is left in its darkest sight
A burn such is sensed by their woeful hearts
Which no snow breeze can bring respite
For humans who cart the onus of bond
Agony is vivid of that February night
When the dusk had left reverie in eyes
And dawn did break with soul blight
Eyes trickle pain and lips shiver in fear
When they knit their stories for earnest ear
I see through pearls of their sunken eyes
A haunting tale: of dark; of miseries; of hues and
cries;
When snakes crawled in a still hamlet
With their vicious aims and fangs bite
They dumbed all men, benumbed their women
For gashing their clothes and bashing their pride
Three pigeons of a nest standing in a row
Were hurt by a black harsh hunter’s bow
They cooed, they whined, they groaned in pain
When he ripped their feathers and blackened
their glow
Who once were queens of a bright sky
Are a hapless covey now weary to fly
Pour mercy on them, Oh Heavenly Might!
For these caged birds ask freedom and flight.

Waqas Khan

Links

“That horrific night in Kunan Poshpora”

http://www.risingkashmir.com/news/that-horrific-night-in-kunan-poshpora/

“Judiciary failed to provide justice to Kunan Poshpora victims: Shah”

http://www.risingkashmir.com/news/judiciary-failed-to-provide-justice-to-kunan-poshpora-victims-shah/

Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights/WOT and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad.  She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”

About Carol Anne Grayson

Blogging for Humanity.... Campaigner/researcher global health/human rights/drones/WOT/insurgency http://www.esrc.ac.uk/ESRCInfoCentre/PO/experts/Health_and_Wellbeing.aspx Exec Producer of Oscar nominated documentary Incident in New Baghdad, currently filming on drones.
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2 Responses to Kashmir: Do you remember Kunan Poshpora? Surviving rape and collective resistance

  1. Akif says:

    Indian military keeps on doing such things and no one says anything in this so called Global world.
    They claim to be the largest democracy in the world but fails to prove in Occupied Kashmir.
    They don’t even give the people basic human rights.

    • Yes, I observed this with my own eyes during a visit to Kashmir and vowed I would not stay silent. It is shameful that Kashmir is so often forgotten around the world …it both angers and saddens me… I hope the new book on Kunan Poshpora will awaken an interest…and get people asking questions about the human rights situation there…

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