Support Group moves SHRC, seeks probe in all sexual violence cases

On 27th anniversary of Kunan Poshpora mass rape by the Army men, the Support Group for Justice for Kunan Poshpora Friday filed a petition before State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) seeking recommendations to the state government for investigation of sexual violence cases in the State in last 28 years.

The application moved by Natasha Rather, on behalf of Support Group for Justice for Kunan Poshpora survivors, urged the SHRC to suggest guidelines for compensation to the survivors of sexual violence.
The petition has included 143 sexual crimes in the State from 1989 to 2017.
The petitioner appealed the Commission to direct the state government to provide status reports on the progress of these cases.
The petitioner also appealed the Commission to recommend guidelines to compensate survivors of sexual violence and operational procedures on the investigations of cases of sexual violence, in line with the Indian and International law.
In the petition, Natasha has stated that since the escalation of armed hostilities in J&K from the late 1980s, rape and sexual assault have been used as weapons of war.
“The routine use of sexual assault by forces as a method of reprisal against militant’s families, and punishment of the community at large, has been the subject matter of several human rights reports including those by reputed international human rights groups (Asia Watch-Physicians for Human Rights, Amnesty International and International Commission of Jurists),” it read.
The petition urged that the chairperson of the SHRC to appoint two members of the commission, including a woman member, to hear the testimonies of the victims
The petition further reads that the crimes have largely gone unpunished.
“The recent case of the rape and murder of a minor girl from Kathua in January 2018 in which a senior police officer stated that the motive of the accused Special Police Officer (SPO) was to ‘spread fear among the nomads’ appears to be yet another case of a long-standing policy of the state to use rape as a method of reprisal and punishment of communities, or to create fear among the population”.