Subscribe to South Asia Citizens Wire | feeds from sacw.net | @sacw
Home > Women’s Rights > India: AIDWA Opposes The State And Union Government’s Appeal Against (...)

India: AIDWA Opposes The State And Union Government’s Appeal Against Ex-Gratia Payment To Rape Survivors In The Kunan-Poshpora Case, Kashmir

12 March 2015

print version of this article print version

ALL INDIA DEMOCRATIC WOMEN’S ASSOCIATION
NO. 2253- E, SHADI KHAMPUR, NEW RANJIT NAGAR,
NEW DELHI-110008
PH: 011-25700476, 25709565
Email : aidwacec at gmail.com

11th March 2015

AIDWA OPPOSES THE STATE AND UNION GOVERNMENT’S APPEAL AGAINST EX-GRATIA PAYMENT TO RAPE SURVIVORS IN THE KUNAN-POSHPORA CASE, KASHMIR

AIDWA condemns in the strongest possible terms the reported appeal by the Jammu and Kashmir State Government against the compensation ordered by the Jammu and Kashmir Human Rights Commission in 2012 to the victims of the infamous Kunan-Poshpora gang rape case in which almost a 100 women were gang-raped through the night by Army personnel belonging to the 4th Rajputana Rifles. The amount of compensation ordered a quarter century after the incident, 2 lakhs per victim, was itself a pittance but it was, at least, a recognition of State accountability.

The grounds on which the Government is opposing payment of this meagre compensation are shocking: that none of the Army personnel were found guilty and that, at the time of the incident, the payment of compensation was not mandatory. This ignores the simple fact that the enquiry itself was held a decade after the incident without any forensic evidence to link specific personnel to the crime and that, the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) allows all such cases to be examined by the Army itself.

The State Government has shown itself to be utterly insensitive to the suffering and trauma that the rape victims have undergone over the years. Many of them had to undergo hysterectomies because of the brutalities meted out to them. Its taking recourse to the technicality that compensation was not payable at the time cannot be condemned strongly enough. It cannot be a co-incidence that the Chief Minister of the State, whose Party has been the most vociferous in protesting against atrocities committed by the Armed Forces, has now changed his tune completely to harmonise with his new-found ally in Government, the BJP.

This ghastly case and the attitude of the State and Central Governments to the issue of atrocities going unpunished because of the draconian provisions of AFSPA has made its repeal more necessary than ever.

AIDWA demands that the State Government withdraw its shameful plea and that the Central Government not support it. We demand payment of the compensation amount indexed to inflation from 1991. We support wholeheartedly the struggle for justice by the victims and demand that the Governments concerned do the same.
Sd/-

Malini Bhattacharya (President)
Jagmati Sangwan (General Secretary)
AIDWA