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Recent cases tip of an iceberg

Women harassment become common in Kashmir


KNS

Srinagar, May 16 (KNS): As two alleged rape cases have been reported in last one week in Kashmir, such incidents have become common in the valley.

A three-year-old girl was allegedly raped last week by her neighbour in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district, leading to widespread outrage and protests against the incident. The accused has been arrested by police and a special investigation team constituted for a speedy investigation of the incident. Another case was reported on Tuesday when another girl was allegedly raped in central Kashmir Ganderal. Last month, a girl committed suicide who was allegedly sexually assaulted by her father.

These seems not rare case but are being often reported in Kashmir. Similarly molestation cases are also on rise in Kashmir.

As per the official figures of police department, at least 142 rape cases were registered during 2018 in Kashmir, indicating almost every 60-hours, a rape case gets reported in the Valley.

The police have disposed off 116 cases, while 26 are still being investigated.

During 2018, some of the heart wrenching rape cases were reported in the state.

An official of police department said that many crimes go unreported in the Valley either due to remoteness of the location or victims choose to stay silent out of fear or social stigma attached to the crime.

“There are crimes like rape, molestation, and eve-teasing where the victims many a times prefer to remain silent,” the official told KNS.

In most of these cases, reasons are dowry, interference from in-laws, misunderstandings, giving birth to female babies leading to matrimonial disputes and family squabbles and are also subjected to mental as well as physical torture in homes, workplaces or in educational institutions.

“Very little percentage of crimes against women goes reported as women mostly prefer to remain silent without lodging compliant against their family members. Women also face harassment outside their homes be at workplaces or in educational institutions,” the police official said.

Eve- teasing and street harassment incidents, despite being reported numerous times, remain the constant problem in Jammu and Kashmir. Lewd remarks greet young girls on the roads, in public transport and outside their school, college and University campus.

1233 cases of molestation were reported in 2016. They got escalated to 1361 cases in 2017.

“Very few eve teasing incidents are being reports. The victims are not coming forward to lodge the complaint. It is because of conservative and patriarchal society, girls do not come forward and speak up,” the official added.

An official of State Women Commission said they receive such cases frequently from across the Valley especially Srinagar. “We often receive complaints of stalking, passing lewd remarks and gestures, brushing against the woman’s body and passing vulgar comments,” the official said, wishing not to be quoted by name as he was not authorized to talk to the media since the Commission is headless.

“Majority of girls don’t complain for fear of public humiliation. They prefer to suffer in silence than come out in the open, with the result the eve-teasers are encouraged,” the official said. (KNS) 


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