London: An online Conference on Kashmiri Women’s Resistance Day was organised by Tehreek-e-Kashmir UK to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the tragic incident Kunan & Poshpora Mass Rape incident to honour the victims & awaken the world conscience on the century’s most barbaric crime mass rape because the world has become a silent spectator of heinous crimes of Indian occupational forces especially murder & rape in illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir.
The Conference was titled “Kunan Poshpora Mass Rape with Denied Justice for 30 Years”. It was chaired by President Tehreek-e-Kashmir UK Raja Fahim Kayani & Moderated by Information Secretary Tehreek-e-Kashmir UK Rehana Ali.
President TEK UK Raja Fahim Kayani said in his opening remarks,
“The Mass Rape Kunan Poshpora 1991 is an unforgettable incident in the Kashmir history which was committed under the black RAPE Law like Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) 1990’s section 7 which gives impunity to the Indian army to search, torture, kill & rape innocent Kashmiris & burn their properties too even on suspicion”.Kayani Further said “Indian should be sanctioned for it’s illegal laws & war crimes in IIOJ&K.
Former Australian Senator Lee Rhiannon while expressing her views said that,” I pay tribute to the history, the culture and struggle for justice of the Kashmiri people. Rape is a shocking crime, have been used as a tactic of war to violate human rights & humiliate women also the whole community through them. On 23 Feb 1991, in the villages of Kunan and Poshpora Indian Forces committed mass rape of more than 100 minor, young & older women. It was a pre-planned crime and systematically raped by the Indian army.
Indian Laws such as AFSPA 1990 effectively allow military personnel to get away with Rape and Brutality. The world needs to put more focus on violence perpetrated by Indian forces in Jammu & Kashmir.
Shaffaq Mohammed, a former liberal democrat’s Member of the European Parliament expressing his views said that, “The Kunan Poshpora incident, where women from 2 Kashmir Villages were subjected to the most brutal acts of sexual violence are still awaiting justice 30 years on. The United Nations passed Resolution 1820 in 2008 on Women & Peace and Security to tackle the growing incidents of “Rape as an Act of War”. The Special Envoy of UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Angelina Jolie must speak in favour of the victims of Kunan Poshpora to brig their plights to the world’s attention.
Mary Hunter, Researcher for the Centre for Army Leadership and the London Institute of South Asia said that, “It has been repeatedly suggested by Human Rights Watch that rape has been used as a “weapon of war” by the Indian security forces against the entire Kashmiri community.” While as per the second UN report, published in 2019, stating that “no progress” has been made in bringing justice.
Dr. Farhan Mujahid Chak Secretary-General Kashmir Civitas said that,” On 23rd February 1991 4th Rajputana Rifles of the 68 Mountain Division of Indian Armed Forces entered Kunan & Poshpora villages & mass raped more than 100 young & old women. Injustice will never go away, it will remain & the world must come forward. The culprits of Kunan Poshpora Mass Rape must be held accountable so that justice is served.
Shamim Shawl, APHC Representative and Secretary-General Kashmir Tehreeki Khawateen during her address said that, “We demand Justice for Kunan Poshpora Mass Raped Victims. We demand International Commission to investigate Kunan Poshpora Mass Rape occurred on 23rd February 1991 by the Indian Occupational Forces.”
Sheni Hamid, Political Strategist & Senior Political Advisor said that,” The brutal rapes of the Villagets in 1991 in IOJK, by some Indian representatives, is indeed against all these conventions & against the UN’s Human Rights Principles, which was being signed by India as well. UNSC should consider investigating this particular matter further. Hence, upon the solid evidence, this case must be refered to ICC.
Dr. Arch FRANCA COLOZZO, INSPAD during her address said that,
“Human Rights Watch said the government had launched a “campaign to absolve the human rights violations commited by the army and to discredit those who filed the allegations!” “If this unsustainable Indian campaign of covering up misdeeds and discrediting those who would like to lift the veil of such shame continues, we are faced with the sad realization that Indian democracy is now dead.”
Elif Selin Calik, International Journalist & Poet expressed her shadow with the victims of Kunan Poshpora mass rape victims and said that,
” Every Act of Tyranny and Deprivation of justice has the power to haunt not only the offenders but the society as well.”
Shaista Safi, Kashmiri Human Rights Lobbyist said that, “This day is a reminder that Indian occupational forces use Rape as a weapon of war, they think of it as their duty and get away with the horrendous crimes because of draconian laws such as AFSPA 1990.”
Turgay Evren, Author & Songwriter said that, “We need to name and shame the perpetrators of this crime. On Kunan Poshpora Mass Rape, I am going to write and dedicate a song these Kashmiri Women, mothers, daughters & sisters who have suffered in Kashmir.”
Tamkeen Sheikh, Ex-Conservative Parliamentary Candidate during her address said that, ” It is high time we behave like human beings, come together like human beings & stand up against people who are involved in such human rights abuses.”
Yahya Akhter, Director of Information Cell TeK UK said that, “Human Rights Conventions & world conscience have failed the innocent & helpless women of Indian occupied Kashmir. India is committing every war crime in occupied Kashmir but Europe & America are ignoring it for their economic benefits, which will not go very well in history.”
Chairman Jammu Kashmir Salvation Movement (JKSM) Altaf Ahmed Bhat, in his statement recorded, “30 years have passed on since the Indian Brutal Forces Mass Raped more than 100 Young & Old women of Kunan & Poshpora. There has been no action against the perpetrators till now as the Indian army continues to enjoy impunity and protection granted by the Indian state with draconian laws such as AFSPA 1990. While Molestation, Rape & Torture, has become a routine for the Indian Armed Forces in Kashmir. In the last 32 years, 11,234 Women have been Gang Raped/ Molested, 7,163 Kashmiris are killed in Custody, 110,386 Structures Arsoned / Destroyed & 22,924 Women are widowed.
We appeal to the UN, EU Parliament, International Human Rights Organizations to Intervene & ask India to allow them to have a fair Investigation of grave Human Rights Violations committed in IIOJ&K.”
Soraya Boyd, CEO-Founder Facilitate Global London based human rights NGO said in her statement recorded, “In 2008 the UN Security Council adopted a resolution which affirms that rape and other forms of sexual violence can constitute war crimes, crimes against humanity or a constitutive act concerning genocide.”
Rehana Ali Information Secretary for Tehreek-e-Kashmir UK said that, “This online conference is in honor of the Mass Rapes victims from the twin villages of Kunan & Poshpora. Females aged 13-80 were raped in front of their families by the Indian army 30 Years ago today but till now the victims seek justice. They say justice delayed is justice denied so not even one single officer has been procecuted due to the black laws in force by India as AFSPA 1990.”
Mian Muhammad Tayyib Vice President Tehreek-e- Kashmir Europe, Sardar Aftab Ahmed Advocate Vice President TeK UK, Abdul Malik JP Chairman Kashmir Bristol Foundation, Farooq Baig Secretary-General TeK Germany, Muhammad Lukman Deputy Sec-Gen TeK UK, Khawaja Muhammad Suleiman Director KIC Birmingham & Muhammad Munir TeK Germany also attended the seminar.