Army’s bomb explosion in Kunan Poshpora; Activists blame intimidation

Army’s bomb explosion in Kunan Poshpora; Activists blame intimidation

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An explosion was carried out in Kunan Poshpora village of North Kashmir today at around 8:45 am on Monday.

The village has been in news since the legal proceedings of the mass gangrapes by the army personnel in February 1991 have started. Two civil society groups have been pushing for the transparent justice delivery process in the case and have been fighting it in the courts.

In a statement, issued by the Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS) and Support Group for Justice for Kunan Poshpora Survivors, the group says, “The explosion was carried out by personnel of the Rashtriya Rifles and 160 Territorial Army, of the Hiri camp, who stated to the villagers that it was a very old mine that had to be exploded. Further, they declared that arms and ammunition were recovered from near the blast site.”

The village Sarpanch, Abdul Samad Dar, has questioned the army personnel and was told that the army had received information on arms and ammunition in the village, and that there would be searches conducted in the village in the coming days.

“The recovery was done with no independent or local witnesses. On 5 April, army personnel from Hiri camp were at the same location shooting a video, which appeared like a reconnaissance. For three days, prior to 5 April, there was unusual movement of the same army personnel at this location,” the statement said.

The support groups of the case blame that the explosion and the threat of further searches is clearly an act of intimidation against the villagers of Kunan and Poshpora, and all those associated with the struggle against impunity of the Indian army. “The Village Committee of Kunan Poshpora, that is fighting the mass rape and torture case of February 1991, has approached the Trehgam Police Station for the filing of a FIR.”