Year 2014 witnessed a steep rise in cases of harassment and molestation across the valley, and to protest against the same, scores of women from far-flung areas today reached Srinagar to protest against such crimes.
The women including young girls gathered here at Pratap Park to protest against the rising rape cases and unnoticed harassment cases going on in the Valley.
“I wonder why is our government sleeping over the issue of crimes against women, why don't we see parties talking about such issues, why can't we come-out into open in support of minors who have been raped. Are we waiting for another Nirbhaya case to happen in Kashmir,” a protester from Ganderbal, Sharifa Jan said.
She added that state government has always been indifferent towards such issues more than the government of any other state.
Recently in a horrific incident, a 13-year-old girl was allegedly gang raped by two in Drabshala area of Kishtwar. The incident sparked a wide spread anger and protests in the area.
Earlier a nurse from south Kashmir was alleged molested by some officers in the health department including the director health services Kashmir. Many cases go unnoticed which are not even highlighted in the mainstream media, said the spokesperson of Madava Forum, a civil society group which had organized this protest in collaboration with Youth Civil Society Kashmir.
“The main aim of the program was to sensitize people especially youth, and to drive in message across local populace and all the stake holders that they need to come together and seek a permanent remedy to gender based violence,” Sharifa Jan added.
Many women have painful narratives to share but few come forward, another protester Malik Arifa from Tangmarg said. “Many women don't come forward after being harassed or molested due to fear of victimization. We will not sit back but will fight for justice,” she added.
Pertinent to mention here that the data available with state police department reveals that more than 3,000 cases of molestation and eve teasing were reported in 2011 and 2012 in J&K.