The News Scroll 03 June 2020  Last Updated at 5:26 pm | Source: PTI

Terrorism threatens women empowerment in Kashmir: Experts

Terrorism threatens women empowerment in Kashmir: Experts
Srinagar, Jun 3 (PTI) A woman BJP leader from Budgam district has been warned by Pakistan-based Al-Badr terror group to forget her political ambitions or be prepared to face dire consequences, a development which, experts feel, again highlights that terrorism has proved to be a threat to women empowerment in the valley over the past three decades.

The audio message with a flag of Al-Badr and a picture of the BJP leader has gone viral on the social media.

"This message should serve you as a last warning...." the terror group said.

While Jammu and Kashmir police is ensuring that security is provided to almost everyone threatened by militant groups but at times there are some slip ups, experts suggest.

"Ever since the onset of militancy in Kashmir in 1989, women have been bearing the brunt of economic backwardness wrought by violence -- a spectre unleashed by Pakistan trained proxies, drunk in the delusion of separating India from Kashmir.

"While gullible youths were ensnared by the beautiful wrath of gun, girls had to sit home. Many sacrificed their education to tend to their parents and domestic chores after their brothers joined militant ranks," says former director general of Jammu and Kashmir police Kuldeep Khoda told PTI from Jammu.

Khoda, who had the most successful tenure as police chief of the militancy-ravaged state, said there was a striking similarity in all the dreaded terror outfits which had a deep hatred for empowerment of women through modern education.

Volumes have now been written on the atrocities committed by Boko Haram, Taliban, Al Shabaab, Al Qaeda, ISIS and other terror outfits for wreaking havoc on women, he said.

Last year, many women were targeted by militants in Kashmir. Take the example of Nigeena Bano who was shot dead by militants in Pulwama or Ishrat Muneer from Pulwama, he said.

"All they wanted was to move ahead in their life and pursue a career. What about Khushboo Jan, a special police officer shot dead in Shopian by terrorists last year," Khoda, who has had the distinction of clearing most parts of the valley of militants, said.

"The world raises its concern for gender disparity when a sensation is created like the case of 15-year-old Malala Yousufzai who was shot and critically injured by Taliban in Pakistan''s Swat valley in 2012. The act left the whole world in shock as a teenager was assailed for promoting women empowerment and peace through education," he said.

Fortunately, he said, Malala survived the gruesome attack and became a global ambassador for honouring women through the powerful medium of quality education, but many such Malala''s of Kashmir have gone unnoticed.

Senior advocate of Jammu and Kashmir High Court, Monika Kohli, who has been engaged in various litigations related to women''s issues, feels that one needs to realise that women from Kashmir too nurture dreams of achieving heights in life along with their global counterparts.

This assertion might sound imprudent here but it''s an invisible fact that due to the responsibility of handling family matters in the absence of men, who succumbed to gun culture, many girls'' have to shelve their dreams of carving a niche in their lives through education, she said.

The lives of many innocent girls were snuffed out on allegations of espionage where they were mercilessly killed for being hand in glove with security forces, she added.

"Even though Kashmir has a good percentage of girls enrolled in schools, but the freedom experienced and enjoyed by their counterparts in rest of the country is poles apart from the ongoing suffocation in their lives," she said told PTI from Jammu.

Kashmir''s only girls'' rock band "Pragaash" never saw light of the day because of opposition from fanatics in 2013, Kohli said, adding that one need not forget the gruesome incident in which two sisters were mercilessly killed by Lashker militants in Muslim Peer locality of north Kashmir''s Sopore in January 2011.

The two girls'' were abjectly poor and were helping their parents make ends meet when terrorists'' shot them dead for working as informants only because they had a mobile phone in their hand.

"These incidents including those referred by former police chief are just the tip of the iceberg of injustices meted out to the women since the beginning of terrorism in Kashmir. There''s no denying that girls are getting good education in Kashmir presently, but the freedom they deserve is still a distant shot from what''s enjoyed by women in rest of the country as as well as abroad," she said. PTI SKL AAR AAR

Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI
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