Kashmir’s worse-off half

Women are the silent sufferers in the war over Kashmir.

Women have been the worst hit in the war in Kashmir. They have been killed in crossfire, shot in public demonstrations, blown up in grenade explosions or in shelling along the line of control (LoC), and have been raped by the security forces, by anti-government militants and by pro-government militants.

Though incidents of militancy overall may have declined, especially in urban areas, there has been greater terror and social violence. The 'success' of the Indian counter- insurgency strategy, drafted by the former head of India's intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and then governor of Kashmir, Girish Saxena, depended on infiltration and subversion of militants. But the appearance of renegade militants, the naqli mujahids as they are called, and the pro-gov-ernment militant has destroyed not only the political movement for azadi (freedom), but also Kashmiri society. That puts women at greater risk.

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Himal Southasian