Srinagar, Feb 23: Joint Resistance Leaders (JRL) Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik on Friday reiterated the demand for an impartial investigation into the Kunan mass rape.
In a statement, JRL said that “this heart-wrenching incident is a living proof of the ‘state terrorism and fascism of India in Kashmir and it can be assumed that how-grave war crimes are committed by the forces in Jammu & Kashmir.”
JRL in their appeal to UN Secretary-General asked to initiate an investigation in Kunan and other incidents in the state by the UN War Crime Tribunal, saying “it is the moral duty of the international community to investigate these cases and help declare the perpetrators as war criminals,” they added.
Scores of women including elderly and minors were sexually assaulted on the intervening night of 23rd and 24th February 1991 by 4, Rajputana Rifles and 68 Mountain Brigade, JRL said. The mass rape in Kunan was not the first incident of its kind but the humiliation of women folk by forces in the state continues for the last 27 years, added JRL.
“New Delhi despite clear proof, evidence and reports from local authorities did not take any notice of it. Instead, it encourages its armed personnel to indulge in such cases and used it (rape) as a weapon of war,” the statement said.
Referring to statement of the former Home Minister and BJP leader L K Advani, the JRL said that, he is on record to have said the forces could not be prosecuted as it may affect their morale while dealing with their enemies.
“The government forces, as well as other state institutions, have no constitutional or legal obligation or binding and nor are they accountable for their wrongdoings of armed forces, said JRL and added that state government has till date failed to do anything substantial in this regard. Actually, it is Ministry of Home which runs the affairs in Jammu and Kashmir and they are least bothered about such inhuman incidents,” JRL said.
JRL said that whether it was NC, Congress or the PDP in the power, everybody tried to conceal the Kunan mass rape incident.
Referring to the recent rape case of a minor in Kathua, JRL said, “there is no let-up in offences against women and it is because of criminal silence maintained by the international community that such inhuman incident continues to take place in Jammu Kashmir.”
They stressed for investigation in offences against women in Kashmir, saying “it is the moral duty of the international community to investigate these cases,” they added.