JRL demands probe by UN war tribunal

The Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik on Friday reiterated demand for impartial investigation into the Kunan Poshpora mass rape.

In a joint statement, the three leaders said Kunan Poshpora mass gang rape is a living proof of the “state terrorism and fascism of India in Kashmir. It can be assumed that how grave war crimes are committed by the forces in J&K”.

“Scores of women including elderly and minors were sexually assaulted on the intervening night of February 23/24, 1991 by 4 Rajputana Rifles and 68 Mountain Brigade. The mass rape in Kunan Poshpora was not the first incident of its kind but humiliation of women folk by Indian forces in state continues for the last 27 years,” they said.

They appealed United Nations Secretary General to initiate investigation into the Kunan Poshpora mass rape and other such incidents in Kashmir by the UN war crime tribunal. “It is the moral duty of international community to investigate these cases and help declare the perpetrators as war criminals. Indian forces are involved in war crimes as were Serb troops in Bosnia and Kosovo”.

The leaders said despite clear proof, evidences and reports from local authorities, Delhi did not take any notice of it. “Instead, it encourages its armed personnel to indulge in such cases and uses rape as a weapon of war”.
They referred to the statement of then Indian Home Minister and BJP leader L K Advani, who had said that forces could not be prosecuted as it may affect their morale while dealing with their enemies.
“The forces as well as other state institutions have no constitutional or legal obligation or binding and nor are they being held accountable for the wrongdoings of armed forces. The state government has till date failed to do anything substantial in this regard,” they said adding, “Actually, is Ministry of Home Affairs runs the affairs in J&K and they are least bothered about such inhuman incidents”.
Slamming the local authorities, the leaders said “They made every attempt to hush-up the case. Not only the forces are creating hurdles but successive state governments including NC and PDP also played criminal role in this regard. Till date they have never made any sincere attempt to register any case against culprits”.
“Whether it was NC, Congress or PDP in the power, everybody tried to conceal the Kunan Poshpora incident,” they said.
Referring to recent rape and murder of a minor in Kathua, they said there is no let-up in offences against women. “It is because of criminal silence maintained by international community that such inhuman incidents continue to take place in the State.”