1991 Kunan Poshpora mass rape: Key eyewitness dies at 85

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Abdul Aziz Shah, a key eyewitness of the Kunan Poshpora mass rape incident, in which Indian Army has been accused of gangraping dozens of women including minors, died on Thursday afternoon at the age of 85.

Shah, who was the then Lamberdar of Kunan village, was one of the main witnesses of the case. He breathed his last at his ancestral village Kunan on after a brief illness, his two neighbours confirmed to The Kashmir Walla.

It was Shah who had first reported the 1991 mass-rape incident to the police.

In 1991, Indian armed forces entered the twin villages of Kunan and Poshpora in the Kupwara district of Kashmir under the guise of a cordon-and-search operation.

The soldiers allegedly dragged the men of the villages out of their homes to ad-hoc interrogation centres set up in houses and barns in the village. Women left alone at their respective houses were then allegedly gangraped, as per the 2012 report of Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission (J&K SHRC).

In the incident more than two dozen women including girls – with some estimates placing it at 40 – from the twin villages were allegedly gangraped by the Indian Army’s 4 Rajputana Rifles, the allegation that Army has been continuously denied.

In the past 30 years, several victims and witnesses of the incident have breathed their last. 

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