When most parts of the world are observing Mother’s Day, today, thousands of Kashmiri women continue to wait for the return of their sons subjected to enforced disappearance in custody by Indian troops in occupied Kashmir over the past 31 years.
A report released by the Research Section of Kashmir Media Service on Mother’s Day, today, said that the continued Indian state terrorism had resulted in the killing of 95,558 Kashmiris including women and children from 1989 to 10th of May 2020. As many as 22,914 women have been widowed by the Indian forces and 11,184 women were raped, disgraced or molested during the period.
58-year-old resistance leader, Syeda Aasiya Andrabi, Fehmeeda Sofi, Nahida Nasreen and Jamia Millia Islamia’s Kashmiri scholar, Safoora Zargar who is also pregnant are illegally facing detention in India’s infamous Tihar Jail on false charges.
The report pointed out that the troops had subjected about 8,000 Kashmiris to custodial disappearance during the period and the mothers of majority of these disappeared people had been waiting for their return. Second Sunday of May is observed as Mother’s Day since 1914 as a result of continued efforts by Anna Jarvis, daughter of Ann Reeves Jarvis, a peace activist in, West Virginia, the United States, for her mother’s contributions towards the society.
Meanwhile, several mothers including Haseena Begum died whose son Syed Anwar Shah, a wall painter by profession, went missing on 21 July 2000, when arrested by Indian troops in Srinagar.
Mahtaba Begum hailing from Kashmir’s far-off village Karhama died while looking for her son who was arrested during a crackdown in 1990. Her son Mohammad Yaqub Khan was a laborer. Misra begum of Bemina’s boatman colony died in the desolation of her only son Shabbir Hussain Gasi who was arrested by Indian army on 21 January 2000. Hameeda Parveen died in 2012 after searching from pillar to post with the hope that her son would one day return to home. Details informed that her son, Abid Hussain, was a student.
Zoona Begum, hailing from Raj Bagh, whose son disappeared in May 1996 when he was detained after forces raided his house. Her son Imtiyaz Ahmad was a forester. Zoona died in 2011 while waiting for her son to return home.
Haleema Begum, hailing from Batamaloo area, died in February this year. She struggled for the last 23 years in search of her son, Basharat Ahmad Shah, who was studying at Aligarh Muslim University, India. Basharat was arrested on 7 January 1990 by CRPF from Sopore area.
65-year-old Rehti Begum reflects on her quiet life in Chaki Kawoosa village of Budgam, before her only son went missing. Begum said Muhammad Ramzan was detained in 1994 by the Indian army. He was never seen again.
“There is no one around with whom I can share my pain,” she says. Her husband died months after their son disappeared and she has since worked odd jobs. She searched for Ramzan for three decades, even as age took a toll on her health.