By News Desk | Srinagar, Kashmir
Reserving its decision over admission of Public Litigation (PIL) pertaining to Kunun Poshpora ‘mass rape’ case, a Division Bench (DB) of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court Tuesday directed the Advocate General to submit report on behalf of the government that what steps have been taken by it to implement the directions issued by the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC).
The DB comprising chief Justice M M Kumar and justice Ali Mohammad Magrey heard a PIL seeking re-investigation into the infamous Kunan Poshpora ‘mass rape’ of at least 40 women allegedly by troops of Army’s 4 Rajputana Rifles in 1991.
The PIL has been filed by Advocate Parvez Imroz on behalf of a group of local young female social workers.
Pertinently, the DB heard the PIL on 29 April and had directed the counsel for litigants to provide legal references to certain questions before the PIL could be admitted in the court. The judges wanted to know as to how the PIL can be a remedy for a 22-year old case and that can a PIL be a remedy for the implementation of a SHRC decision.
Ironically, the SHRC had issued three recommendations which include reopening of case, two lac rupees compensation to victims and action against accused. State government had reportedly compensated victims providing one lac rupees rather than two lac rupees as recommended by the SHRC.
The young social worker’s Samreen and Israh, who are part of the group, told a news agency that in Delhi rape case the whole India was shaken and government of India acted promptly to deliver justice “but 22 years rape victims in Kashmir are still waiting for the justice.”
Asked if the PIL would not be admitted, they said, “No women will tolerate insult to her honor and dignity. We’ll fight for their justice till our last breath.”
The incident occurred on February 23, 1991, when units of the army launched a search and interrogation operation in the village of Kunan Poshpora, located in remote Kupwara District, North Kashmir. At least 40 women were allegedly gang raped by troops that night. However, Human Rights organizations including Human Rights Watch have reported that the number of raped women could be as high as 100.