A woman was stripped naked by Indian officials in Kashmir. And we will blog about it. Again. In vain.

Published: July 10, 2015
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Woman publicly stripped while resisting a gang involving an Indian army soldier. PHOTO: AFP

On June 19th 2008, the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution that included the following statement:

“Rape and other forms of sexual violence can constitute war crimes, crimes against humanity or a constitutive act with respect to genocide.”

The resolution also mentions,

“Women/girls are particularly targeted by the use of sexual violence, including in some cases as a tactic of war to humiliate, dominate, instil fear in, disperse and/or forcibly relocate civilian members of a community or ethnic group.”

Just a few years later, circa 2015, in Indian-occupied Kashmir, a woman was stripped naked by five men – including one army official.

It was the district of Udhampur where the incident took place. A woman was reportedly riding pillion on a motorcycle with a male friend. Five men intercepted them and started misbehaving. Upon her resistance, it is reported, the five men overpowered her and stripped her naked. A case has been registered.

The resolution has been passed and the case has been registered.

And now, a blog is being written. A reader will leave a comment. Maybe they might even discuss it between themselves when they lock their smartphones or shut their laptops. Until the next round of news, perhaps, this news is yet another statistic.

In the pre-modern era, women were subject to similar fates. They were considered property by the victors and rape or sexual harassment was not considered as a legitimate crime. In fact, the term sexual harassment has only come forth once modern era has lent a voice to feminism and the cause of gender equality.

It is thus, both shameful and an insult to international law itself that incidents like these are highly common in conflict-ridden areas. In a report by the Human Rights Watch, it was noted that Indian government authorities have rarely investigated charges of rape or sexual harassment committed by the security forces in Kashmir. This came after the Indian military was given the Armed Force Special Powers Act where Army officers had immunity for the use of force and brutality against their offenders. This act was widely condemned by human rights activists – but it stands in the parliament. It is rightly opposed – but also advocated.

In the legal battle, or in terms of international law, the case to argue for the protection of rights of women is simple. Who could oppose the idea that women must not be raped, harassed or sexually mistreated, regardless of what side of the border they belong to?

It’s almost a no-brainer, right?

Wrong.

Human rights violations in warzones are terrible and unethical occurrences, and women and children are the most vulnerable victims of it all. They are unarmed, mostly, and have no way to defend or protect themselves from armed assailants who attempt to take away their strength and dignity.

There are neither strict actions nor strict laws that protect women from such barbaric acts. Countries set no precedent for war criminals when it comes to women. Masses take to streets and politicians give hefty statements for the sake of sound bites – but what needs to happen is that war criminals of this sort need to be publicly shamed for their actions.

Barbarians who find it in their stride to abuse a woman and attack her by stripping or any other kind of sexual violence just because they have a khaki uniform or just because they think they are men – need to face the strictest forms of justice. And if that does not happen, crimes will continue to grow and governments will continue to shelter war criminals and sex offenders under the guise of national integrity and strategic silences.

Mahwash.Badar.

Mahwash Badar

The author is a clinical psychologist, a mum to two boys and permanently in a state of flux. She tweets @mahwashajaz_ (twitter.com/mahwashajaz_)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • wb

    There was one Indian army official. NOT officials*.

    Like all Pakistani propaganda, such lies about Kashmir will also crumble very easily, soon.

    And he was a local Kashmiri man. So, why is it being made to look like this is some government conspiracy for systematically raping Kashmiri women.

    If anything, the blame should go to the Kashmir Muslim men who disrobed her.

    By the way shouldn’t you be looking closer to home where the army is raping and murdering Balochis? What is the record of prosecution in Pakistani army? How many Pakistani soldiers were court-martialed for 3 million murders and 200,000 rapes in East Pakistan?

    For those who don’t know, Lt. General Tikka Khan, aka the butcher of Bochistan, the butcher of Bengladesh, went on to retire a 4 star general. That is the head of Pak army under Bhutto’s regime.Recommend

  • Bharat Mata Ki Jai

    Why do you have to highlight that one of the accused is an Indian official? Four of the five accused are kashmiri muslims.Recommend

  • mimi sur

    Then why don’t you call your “relatives/friends/blood-brothers” in so-called occupied Kashmir to protest and maintain a Bandh . They won’t do this time . I won’t disclose the reason, you disclose .Recommend

  • Elbot

    The woman who was assaulted was a hindu woman in jammu. The goons who assaulted her were local jammu youth including a soldier who was on vacation.

    Please stop giving it a communal flavour.Recommend

  • Headstrong

    Yes, you will blog about in, in vain. Because this is a crime, but your efforts to politicise it will fail – again. We are quite capable of handling this issue, including meting out punishment to those responsible, without your interference. I suggest you focus on the far larger number of crimes against women and children in your country, and leave us to handle our territory. Recommend

  • Parvez

    Cases like this are all too common in Pakistan as well……the problem stems from a patriarchal society where women simply have a lower status than men and in cases like this even the laws are structured so that the victim becomes the accused……in the eyes of the man its usually the woman’s fault that forces him to act the way he did and he gets a sympathetic hearing.
    I am no expert but in my view correcting this would depend on making women self sufficient…….a very difficult task in a country like Pakistan because religion is brought into play, quoted repeatedly……..but never acted upon.
    This is getting rather long but I must repeat myself…….what will have to be done will have to be done by the women themselves and done collectively and forcefully. In the south of India in a small city women got together and confronted the male dominated local council and managed to prevail once they realized that they had a voice. If it can be done on a small scale…..it shows it can be done.Recommend

  • pappu the rockstar

    when will pakistan enquire millions of such incidents in pakistan, especially in their madrasas?Recommend

  • Hamid Bashgali

    Every 7 minutes there is a rape in India. Obviously, not all are reported.
    India, after all, is the rape capital of the world. What else would you expect?
    There are no Women’s Rights in India. For every 1000 men there are 650 women
    in India. Women are slightly above cattle and sheep in that country.Recommend

  • Indian guy

    How is “5 men including a military official” same as “Indian officials”? While there is no denying HR violations in Kashmir, but such prejudiced writing is hardly the right journalistic way of putting things. You lose your credibility this way.Recommend

  • curious2

    In Pakistan you read about the event .. elsewhere you read about the event and the fact that the Indian’s arrested the bad guys.Recommend

  • Union Jack

    Incidents of crime against women is sensitive enough and give it a Kashmir flavor and Pakistanis comes to blog their opinion even without knowing full facts. Crime against women happens in every corner of world including Pakistan, but it is the crime against an Indian Kashmiri woman which stands out in Pakistan and absorbs 50% of total media coverage in form of blogs, news, rants and debates and in the end Sartaj Aziz once again vowing to show “true India face” to UN.
    Crime against women’s honor is highly deplorable crime. And I wish the people involved gets punishment and the officer involved gets more severe punishment to set an example. And if my government does not do it it is indeed shame for us Indians. And it is for us to fix it and demand the justice on behalf of the woman if she doesn’t get one. But how do u fight for someone who is strongly prejudiced by race of a person who wants to help them ? The Indian officer involved is a muslim officer who is local to Srinagar. Is this fact ever reflected in Pakistan media ? It will not because then it won’t be as sanguine as it is now.Recommend

  • rationalist

    “Barbarians who find it in their stride to abuse a woman and attack her
    by stripping or any other kind of sexual violence just because they have
    a khaki uniform or just because they think they are men – need to face
    the strictest forms of justice”

    I do share your concern for abuse of women anywhere in the world. However, in this instance, it is very likely that the perpetrators were the militants wearing military uniforms. This has happened many times in Kashmir- terrorists wearing uniforms while perpetrating mass murder. One example is the Chittisinghapura massacre of dozens of innocent Sikhs by Pak sponsored terrorists in military uniforms.

    “And if that does not happen, crimes will continue to grow and governments will continue to shelter war criminals and sex offenders under the guise of national integrity and strategic silences.”

    I agree with you on this.Recommend

  • fze

    This is not the first time that Indian Army has done this nor it will be the last.Recommend

  • seismann

    Shameful;even isolated cases needs to be condemned;but this is nothing compared to what happened to women in Bangla Desh and Bosnia.Recommend

  • Anjaan Aadmi

    What happens in India, is no business of any Pakistani. India has its legal system to take care of all crimes.Recommend

  • Queen

    A woman has been humiliated, stripped naked, and has been subjected to mental torture but like the author said, we will continue to fight about the rights and wrongs and who did what rather than arresting the culprits. This is really sad. Keeping in view the statistics of human rights violations in the Indian-occupied Kashmir it is likely that the perpetrators of the attack will go unpunished. Recommend

  • Saina

    Especially, when dealing with Muslim girls, security personnel are required to be in tight vigil .Don’t you know that your ilk are potential suicide bombers, right ??
    You have seen examples. Just a few days ago, a 13 or 14 year old Muslim girl in Nigeria has blown herself.Recommend

  • Alann

    and what keeps happening to those in Pakistan.Recommend

  • Alann

    “Yes! A rape happened in India! That too in KASHMIR! Lets write a blog!!!! Afterall, rapes happening in Pakistan of girls (and even boys) has become so common an incident, its not worth writing even a paragraph on it. BUT! A rape in India AND in Kashmir?! YAY! I’m so gonna have lot many comments on this.”

    You must be feeling very proud of yourself.Recommend

  • Queen

    Has the Indian legal system arrested the perpetrators of the Kunan Poshpora incident or the perpetrators of the Gawkadal massacre?Recommend

  • Bharat Mata Ki Jai

    four of the 5 accused were local kashmiri muslims!
    How many rapes take place in Pakistan everyday?
    There are several conflict zones within pakistan where pak army is commiting human rights violations such as in Balochistan, Waziristan, KPK,FATA etc
    Recommend

  • Gullu

    You wont disclose the reason? Because there is none !
    Just a confused, vapid, lost, hindu from Bharat,…YOU.Recommend

  • http://www.zr-films.com @sif [email protected]

    Its concern to all Pakistani. Because victim is muslim Kashmir is not Indian Territory. India is actually the rapist country in the world.Recommend

  • Milind A

    First fix those LeT & Lal Masjid guys running amok creating mayhem on our lands.. Then sermonize us..Recommend

  • Milind A

    And Pakistan is the land of milk and honey!!!!
    BTW do you remember Mukhtaran Mai or Dr. Shazia Khalid (raped by a Pakistani army captain, who was later acquitted by Musharraf)Recommend

  • Fakhruddin Valika

    You need to go back in your cave. And hibernate. And grind out your fantasy
    comments/diatribes.
    Recommend

  • True Pakistani

    A women was also stoned to dead out side of highly gaurded lohare court
    Why did you not penned block? These half lies does not make any sense Either.Recommend

  • True Pakistani

    Did Pakistan take action against rape cases which happens abound here…Recommend

  • pakibangla

    Dear Madam,

    For your and all pakistanis information should a post a same story from pakistan side of balochistan with your permission….all the thing that happen in condemnable…but u cant blame a whole army for something done by 1-2 army men….we also know what pakistani army has done in westbengal………best of luck for ur future blog….Recommend

  • Queen

    So according to you if rapes are allegedly taking place in Pakistan then it is justified to commit rape any where in Kashmir? Sad. Being a Muslim or a Hindu does not absolve a man of committing a heinous crime like rape against any woman. Learn to respect women rather than justifying human rights abuses being carried out in Indian-occupied Kashmir.Recommend

  • Queen

    Well being a “True Pakistani” why don’t you urge the government to take action against perpetrators of violence against women?Recommend

  • hindu

    5 Muslim men stripped a Muslim girl in Kashmir. Writers frm the “land of the pure” need to put it correctlyRecommend

  • Hasan

    But you will not blog about all thy killings by you know who in Baluchistan.Recommend

  • jayant

    When you dont have a valid point o make , u do is make personal , snide comments ! Grow up !Recommend

  • Bharat Mata Ki Jai

    You misunderstood me,I never justified rape!! All I was saying was that,this wasn’t a case of human rights abuse but a criminal offence just like anywhere else and 3 of the 5 accused have been arrested by Kashmiri police.
    The last line of your comment shows your own biased view of women bcoz you were implying that only the rapes in Indian Kashmir valley becomes human rights violations to you Pakistanis.(sic)
    http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/woman-stripped-in-jammu-and-kashmir-army-jawan-among-accused/article1-1366003.aspxRecommend

  • Melange

    The sex ratio in India is 940 females for every 1000 and not 650, according to the 2011 census. It is close to 900 for Pakistan. Don’t try to twist facts.
    Yes, there are a not of women’s issues in India, but Indian women have institutional support to overcome them.Recommend

  • Tiwana

    the guy was a Kashmiri Muslim working in security, four other were Muslims, but kudos to self righteous paki mentality, for centuries Muslims have raped and killed women world around, what about Chinese raping Tibetan women and girls, any comments, if you are indeed a good human being just feel sorry for the poor girl, don’t use it as an excuse to satisfy your hatred, you people are probably the most outdated mentally, i have lived in England and I have seen how Muslim men would lust after young and single women from non Muslim families and use them emotionally and physically, these kind of people are everywhere in every community but never in any community women stalking and rape is considered heavenly as with some educated Muslims living in developed countries, dear learn to improve ourselves then looking for others faults, or being a loser always Recommend

  • Nusrat Rizvi

    So called Pak army broke all record in raping and plundering Bengali women back in 1971. When captured by the Indian Jawans with weapons intact our Hijra solders claimed they were ordered not to offend Indian army.
    After 2 years in Indian jails where they were, yes, including officers beaten and dirt thrown in he foods almost daily our soldiers came back to a hero’s welcome.
    Hearing their mistreatment gave me the greatest joy of my life.Recommend

  • Tiwana

    So how do you stop five Muslims raping a Muslim girl in Pakistan, please enlighten us, I think if they had raped a non Muslim girl that would not have been a such a heinous crime, isn’t it, keep chirping what you have been shouting always been a loser brothas and will always be Recommend

  • Anjaan Aadmi

    How long will you Pakistanis live in denial and think of Kashmir as not Indian territory … ??!!Recommend

  • Anjaan Aadmi

    India is a civilized country. Its Constitution does not discriminate on the basis of religion or anything … there are no Hudood Laws and Blasphemy Laws in India, that are made specifically to target the religious minorities … !!Recommend

  • Elbot

    The assault happened on a hindu woman in hindu areas of jammu!
    The culprit was a local soldier who was on vacationRecommend

  • True Pakistani

    Are they listen to you? Recommend

  • True Pakistani

    Why do you not raise your voice against Hadood law? Which required victim to produce 4 witnesses at court of law? It hinders scotch preclude impede women to come out for Justice..
    Recommend

  • True Pakistani

    By your saying, It will not change fact. It is ruled by India so It is an Indian territory. When people like you understand this simple fact. You are being brainwashed by your clergy and iilierate politician to live in denial and darkness.
    Their is more rape In Pakistan than India. Mostly happened at their home done by their relatives cousin uncle and clergy.Recommend

  • True Pakistani

    In name of zarb e azab, Thousands of innocent peasant have been killed maimed raped. And you are worry about India.?Recommend

  • Sudesh

    Anyone who violates or encourages others to violate a woman’s dignity is a barbaric animal and has no place in a civilized society.Recommend

  • Shaheer

    Lol all the Indians here are only talking about Pakistan while actually not admitting that they have the problem as well and when they don’t have any excuse they bring up Balochistan lol.Recommend

  • rationalist

    Yes. The brave soldiers of the Pak army raped over 400,000 Bengali women, many of them being just 10 years old. This is the worst case of institutionally sanctioned mass rape and ethnic cleansing in the modern era.Recommend

  • Kamath

    Nusrat: Good heavens man! I thought you just faded away into mists of historyRecommend

  • Fakhruddin Valika

    Valid point to make? To who? Pak hating hindus?Recommend

  • Rajiv

    It’s your own blog, so you can write anything you like.Recommend

  • Rajiv

    Kashmir is a part of India.
    If you love the Muslims living there so much, take them and give them citizenship.Recommend

  • Queen

    ….which is why the perpetrators of the Kunan Poshpora incident and the Gawkadal massacre have not been arrested yet. If you claim of being a civilized country, which does not discriminate on the basis of religion, then arrest the criminals otherwise don’t claim that your legal system does not have any flaws.Recommend

  • Queen

    The blog is focused on an incident which has taken place in Indian-occupied Kashmir therefore fingers will be raised on India which claims that its legal system does not does discrimination on the basis of religion. If you are such a good human being as you have tried to prove through your comment, then kindly let me know why the Indian Government has not yet arrested the perpetrators of the Kunan Poshpora incident or the perpetrators of the Gawkadal massacre. The problem with you people is that whenever your faults are highlighted you start blaming the victims for the incident and this is evident from your comment as well as you have tried to divert attention from the failure of Indian troops in Indian-occupied Kashmir by focusing on the Chinese and Tibetan issues. You are an Indian so this diversion comes as no surprise. I have lived in England, US, Singapore, Malaysia, and the Middle Eastern countries, and let me tell you very clearly that it has always been the Indian men who are found stalking and lusting after women in these countries. Ask any woman out on the streets in the countries mentioned above and you will get your answer. In your hatred against Muslims you have forgotten a key fact that Delhi is considered as the rape capital in the world. And yes if you get time do come to Pakistan in order to understand how we raise our voices for women rights, for the rights of Kashmiris, and for the rights of Palestinians, and for the rights of all oppressed nations in the world. Something which India has yet to learn from its neighbors. If you are so sorry for the poor Kashmiri girl why don’t urge your government to stop carrying out human rights violations in Indian-occupied Kashmir. Try to set a good example for a change.Recommend

  • Queen

    Why should they listen to me considering the fact that it is you who is the ‘True Pakistani’?Recommend

  • Queen

    Being ‘True Pakistani’ why did you not take part in the recent protests staged by APWA against the Hudood Law?Recommend

  • Prashant

    I would not believe the lady is prejudiced. She has an opinion which many others do as well which should not come as surprise to us because we are fighting an insurgency in Kashmir along with popular resentment.

    We need not agree with everything we are being criticised for but we can’t avoid such assertions.Recommend

  • Prashant

    So you only want to be hated by dates eating and camel riding Arabs?Recommend

  • Pakistani

    Im a Pakistani and I do agree, Pakistan has become too discriminating on the base of religious sectarianism. There is no equality. And sadly all of it is being done in the name of Islam which doesn’t allow any firka anywhere in any sacred texts. Its unbelievable.Recommend

  • stevenson

    Fair enough – blog that talks against the humiliation of women in occupied Kashmir. But aren’t you the woman who wishes she were Indian and doesn’t want Pakistan to be? Have you changed your tune?Recommend

  • True Pakistani

    How can you say that Am I not supporting it? Queen B…Recommend

  • True Pakistani

    now you are trying to be sarsatic. Recommend

  • Waqar

    So disgusting. Don’t know from where you read this all crap. No one is perfect. But see both side of pictures. You don’t know what happen in Bangladesh.Recommend

  • True Pakistani

    Being a queen, You can do so manything Which We ordinary human can not do.

    Recommend

  • Amani

    OK, everyone, we have yet again delved deep into a heated discussion just to spite each other and make each other look bad. Once again, with fury fogging our minds, we are failing to see the POINT to this article.The author is not trying to tell us that Kashmiri men are popular harrasers, and she is not ignorant to what Pakistanis and Bengalis did in 1971. She is simply telling us it is appalling, in this day and age, that women are still suffering sexual violence. She’s telling us that it’s wrong, no matter how, where and when it was done, and that it needs to be stopped, and awareness needs to be raised about it being a crime. She’s trying to ensure the safety of women, not trying to spark up a riot based on the fact that Pakistanis crossed records of harrasment in 1971. Before taking part in another online battle, take a deep breath and THINK.Recommend

  • Grace

    She can’t be prejudiced since she also said she wished that partition didn’t take place and that Jinnah made a mistake. A woman who writes that Pakistan shouldn’t exist can’t be prejudiced against India, especially when she wishes her family didn’t leave India and move to Pakistan.Recommend

  • LS

    Do you comment on “The Nation” too?Recommend

  • LS

    So you don’t recall Pakistani men raping as many as 1400 minors in UK? You also don’t recall maximum rapes in Sweden are by emigrant Muslim population?

    Delhi Rape capital? Here is the rape statistics for you from Wiki… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_statistics

    % wise India is at 1.8%, yes even one is too much but in your hatred you are willing to distort the facts. Living in 10 countries does not make you more intelligent.

    Guess what who does not publish their Rape statistics because they are so worse? Pakistan!! World leader in burning women too!Recommend

  • Nusrat Rizvi

    Dear Waqar, are you of the opinion that Dawn or Jung speak the truth. Unfortunately all news papers in Pakistan are lying rags. Anyone can pay money to print a story or suppress it.Recommend

  • George

    Failed attempt at sounding high and mighty.Its apparent to everyone that she is not in full control of her cognitive faculties. She knows AFSPA is a hot potato so equates a rape incident with Genocide. Firstly, the heading says that a women was stripped nude by a group of Indian army officials. Later on she clarifies that there was only one army official. From then on she’s attempts to convince the reader that the facts don’t matter. Its the principle, Secondly, she mentions how a case has been registered against the rapists/molesters and then transitions into how no one gets punished due to AFSPA. Rather than arming herself with facts to strip naked the Indian Army in front of the reader she’s gone into the familiar rant of the outspoken feminist. The article is nothing but a yawn fest and is one of the reasons to blame for this. Its such a shame that AFSPA which can be used very effectively to leave any Indian Army official red faced is being used so poorly. Recommend

  • EAGLE STRIKE

    You must be living in a cave, no problem.Recommend

  • EAGLE STRIKE

    He is paid man from BJP media cell. And look at their frustration even on comment sections just like israeli Hasbara scholarships.Recommend

  • EAGLE STRIKE

    We don’t need to sermonize you, we are happy that you ae in self-destruction mode.Recommend

  • EAGLE STRIKE

    Why do you indians hide behind fake names just to comment on Pakistani site. lolzRecommend

  • EAGLE STRIKE

    I can’t stop laughing at your comment. Rather they were your men. Those of your men in NW are wiped off. Recommend

  • EAGLE STRIKE

    What a joke, you live in india and take a ride in your country. Its a fact that girl infanticide is highest in india even higher than African countries. 65 to 100 is the ratio you can’t hide. In Pakistan majority follow Islam and Girl upbringing is considered blessing in Islam but it is not the case with india.Recommend

  • LS

    The version on “The Nation” is of Pakistani origin. Abuses Indians or anything closely related to India.Recommend

  • Nusrat Rizvi

    Hello Bro Kamath: Hope all is well by you too.
    Looking forward to reading more from you,
    NusratRecommend

  • Pakistani

    Mr Anjaan Aadmi, Kashmir is not and will NEVER be part of India…..Recommend

  • DudeFromDC

    What is it now?Recommend