Srinagar, Aug 20: Winding up of State Commission for Women and Child Rights (SCWCR) in Jammu and Kashmir has left the women, who are victims of domestic violence and cruelty against them, with nowhere to go.
The SCWCR was winded up after J&K’s reorganization in 2019 and it was ordered that the cases which were being heard by the commission in J&K will be heard by the National Commission for Women in New Delhi. The cases which were being heard at SCWCR have been lingering on since then and the new cases are not even being registered.
An analyst while talking to Precious Kashmir said, “The government should set up a new commission on the lines of SCWCR in J&K so that cases of violence against women are heard on the fast track basis. We cannot expect a woman to travel all the way to New Delhi to register a complaint against their husband or in laws.”
He said, “After winding up of the commission, victims have been left with no other option other than to approach the courts and fight long legal battles.”
A woman, social worker, said, “The cases of domestic violence are on rise in Kashmir and victims are left with no other option other than to approach the police. Many cases go unreported as many women don’t approach the police. The SCWCR was headed by a woman and it mostly consisted of a female staff. The victims used to feel more comfortable to share their problems. Accessibility was a big factor. The SCWCR staffers were just a phone call away.”
She said that few NGOs in Kashmir are trying their best to help the victims of domestic violence but are unable to do much in absence of power and authority. “The SCWCR had the authority to get anyone summoned and law enforcing agencies used to act when any request was forwarded by the commission,” the social worker added.
An observer said that the National Commission for Women is already overburdened and one cannot expect the body to set up a separate wing for J&K. “The need of the hour is to put a mechanism in place where the cases from J&K could be heard. It should be set up within the UT so that victims can approach the commission without any hassles,” he added.
“Crime against women is a burning issue and it cannot be ignored. We cannot just depend upon courts. A special cell is needed to address the concerns of women, who in one or other way get victimized,” the observer said.