TODAY -

What about India's daughters in the conflict zones?

Devika Mittal *

10th Death Anniversary of Thangjam Manorama at Bamonkampu Khabam Community Hall :: July 11 2014
10th Death Anniversary of Thangjam Manorama at Bamonkampu Khabam Community Hall on July 11 2014 :: Pix - Shanker Khangembam



With the Government's ban on "India's documentary", made around the 16 December gang rape case known as the Nirbhaya case, the case is once again in the public sphere. The BBC documentary was scheduled for release on the International Women's day. The documentary led to a controversy pertaining to the statement of one of the rapists who still blamed the victim.

Another controversy attached with it has been the permission issue, the Government denies having given the permission to interview the rapists. In the light of these controversies, the Government decided to ban it. However, the people have resisted the ban. Since its release online, the documentary claims a viewership of about a million.

The documentary has also been a point of talk because of the controversial statements. Since its release, people have shared their views, debated on the statement, on how the statement may not be an unusual mentality. The mentality is embedded in the patriarchal society. It is recognized that this mentality is also shared by people's 'representatives', the politicians and those who are supposed to defend us or impart justice.

People have also been suggesting that the system needs to be improved, needs to be empowered to curb these incidents. While this is true, what is still required to recognize and highlight is that not just the mentality to justify rape, the inefficiency of the system but how the very system has also used rape as a weapon to control dissent or voice against the oppression of the State.

This is to point at the cases of rape and sexual violence in the conflict zones of India the North-East states (except Sikkim), Jammu & Kashmir and Naxalite zones. To tackle the challenges in the conflict zones, the Indian State has adopted draconian laws which in the garb of restoring law and order have led to gross violation of human rights'.

One such law is the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). Enforced in the North-East states (except Sikkim) and the state of Jammu & Kashmir, AFSPA gives the right to the armed forces to shoot at sight, torture, raid houses, arrest without warrant AFSPA also protects the army persons with legal impunity. These extra-ordinary and unrestrained powers to the armed forces have led to extra-judicial killings, fake encounters, extra-judicial disappearances, tortures and rapes.

This has been corroborated by the reports of the national and international human-rights' commissions and organisations, Government's own appointed committees and the Judiciary. The Justice J.S. Verma Committee that was set up to suggest amendments to laws relating to crimes against women, has recommended review of the continuance of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) in the context of extending legal protection to women in conflict areas.

It also recommended that the security forces should not be able to take cover under the AFSPA in cases of rape and sexual assault and that cases of sexual violence against women by members of the armed forces or uniformed personnel should be brought under the purview of ordinary criminal law.

Similarly, the laws used to control naxalism have also led to the violation of human rights. Innocent tribals are falsely implicated in cases, tortured, raped and killed. While there are thousands of cases of sexual violence, known and unknown, reported and unreported, here are some of the known cases that still await justice:

Thangjam Manorama from AFSPA-affected Manipur On 10 July 2004, Thangjam Manorama, a Manipuri woman, was picked up from her home by the Indian paramilitary unit, 17th Assam Rifles on allegations of being associated with a militant group. The next morning, her bullet-ridden corpse was found in a field. There were bullet marks even in her private parts. An autopsy revealed semen marks on her skirt suggesting rape and murder. It has been 10 years now but justice is yet to be done.

Rape and Killing of Asiya and Nilofar Jan - On 29th May 2009, in Shopian (J&K), two women named Asiya (age 17) and Neelofar (age 22) went missing. Their dead bodies were found next morning. The people alleged it to be a case of rape and murder by security forces who were camped nearby.

Initially, no FIR was lodged and police told that postmortem report cleared injuries over private parts. However, the people believed that police report about postmortem is fake and so they continued protests and forced J&K Government to form a judicial panel. Under judicial inquiry, the Forensic lab report established that they had been gang-raped. Apart from few suspension and transfers from police department, nothing has happened in this case.

Victims of the mass-rape of Kunan Posphora Village - During the intervening night of February 23 and 24 in 1991, the twin villages of Kunan and Poshpora in north Kashmir's Kupwara district witnessed mass rape of over 40 women by the soldiers of the Army's 4 Rajputana Rifles of 68 Brigade. The victims included young female children, pregnant women and even aged women. This incident has been acknowledged even by the Former Union External Minister, Salman Khurshid's who said, "I am ashamed that it happened in my country. I am apologetic and appalled that it has happened in my country." However, justice continues to evade them.

Sexual Harrasment of Soni Sori, an Adivasi Civil Rights' Activist - Soni Sori, a 35-year-old Adivasi school teacher in Chhattisgarh, was alleged to be a Naxalite. While evidence shows that she was against them, she was framed by the Chhattisgarh police. She was sexually harassed by the police and was also given electric shocks. In the medical examination, small stones were found in her vagina and rectum. The main person who had supervised the torture was Ankit Garg, the Superintendent of Police. What did the state do? He was honored with the President's Award on Republic Day.

As stated previously, sexual violence in the conflict zones are not an aberration. They are widespread. Yet, they do not evoke the same outrage that this particular incident in a non-conflict zone has received. The Government, the judiciary and even those people who are aware of this reality remain silent. Aren't these the daughters of India too? Aren't they women as well? This hypocrisy needs to be addressed. Respect and rights cannot be exclusive or the entitlement of only a particular section of women.


* Devika Mittal wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer is with 'Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign' and can be contacted at devikamittal31(at)gmail(dot)com
This article was posted on March 09, 2015.


* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • ILP : Students protest [27 July] :: Gallery
  • Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon #2 :: Gallery
  • Tourist Watch Tower, Khongjom #3 :: 360 °
  • Nomination for State Journalist Awards
  • Loktak Lake & Manipur in ecological disaster
  • Modi: Man who oils digital India :: Poem
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand : Timeline
  • Recruitment at IP Infotech, Waheng Leikai
  • ..after 20 years: No justice in 'mob justice'
  • Good governance perspectives
  • Rare historical stone inscription #1
  • Singcha Wayawon opening #1:: Gallery
  • Huidrom Kirankr- Fellowhsip for Thang-Ta
  • Noises of the Silence #2
  • RIST popular talk 30- Electronic structure
  • Nutrition & dietetics as career options
  • In the Good Old Days :: Poem
  • Sadar Hills District Demand: News Timeline
  • NPF Presidential Address : 25th July 2017
  • Bid to find haven for ponies
  • ...legal provisions to deal with racial attack
  • Mao Market in Imphal! More than trading
  • Assembly reveals activities of past govt
  • Ethoi Oinam (Actress) #2 :: eRang Photos
  • Awunching Biodiversity Park #2 :: 360 ° View
  • To the Mosquito :: Poem
  • Cabinet meeting at Ukhrul or Tamenglong?
  • India can't deliver on its SDG promise
  • The Killing Fields :: News Timeline
  • Resolutions from DAN Party 25th July
  • Resolutions from NPF Meeting 25th July
  • Putting SoO in the limelight
  • Breaking the barrier
  • Singcha Wuya Won (flower) #1:: Gallery
  • Khashungla, Yaneithing, Poukenpon: eMing
  • My visit to Shri Lanka #3
  • Manipur Rajbari now a Government property
  • Kang-Lei-Pak :: Poem
  • Ruskin bonding - V :: Book Review
  • Building business ties btn Myanmar & NE
  • Job-hunt now an appy trend
  • BJP walking tight rope: Politics of coalition
  • Regional disparities towards NE'ers
  • Echum Lairembi, Khurkhul #3:: Gallery
  • Super Division Football #2 :: Gallery
  • 70 yrs of Thai-India Friendship football
  • Shree Govindajee Temple @Kangla :: 360 °
  • TV & Cine Manipur: Foundation Day
  • Early identification of hearing loss
  • Faith in the Lord
  • Free Medical Camp at Moirang
  • NPFs Sham Tirade against BJP-RSS
  • 1951 as cut-off year..work permit to settler
  • Never sought Shiva Thapa removal: Mary
  • Of proxy teachers & other ills : Mission edn
  • Tapta :: Funga Wari
  • No hill people quota will be grabbed by valley
  • Effective Communication for Careers #2
  • Mother of All Mothers :: Poem
  • Spot inquiry at Deaf & Mute School, Takyel
  • CM Relief Fund: 50,000 donated
  • Peripheral states & demand of Gorkhaland
  • Season of discontent continues
  • Nungbi Khullen, Ukhrul #1 :: Gallery
  • Subroto Football @Wangjing #2 :: Gallery
  • ISKCON Temple #1 :: 360 ° View
  • Noises of the Silence #1
  • Present Flood Situation In Manipur #3
  • Beef Feast at Kohima: Note to Governor
  • Humanity and everything
  • Expulsion & Suspension order from NPF
  • Supreme Court orders probe into killings
  • Indo-Naga Talks 2017 :: News Timeline
  • Killing two birds..The politician in CM speaks
  • Baffling Budget
  • NH-102 (Maram road) landslide :: Gallery
  • Plea from Kumbi Shandhong P/S :: Gallery
  • Featured Photo for 2017 #3 :: Gallery
  • May I Have Two Names?
  • Procession of Jagabondhu Rath Yatra
  • DBT project positions at Manipur University
  • Career Opportunities at TASHI Interiors
  • Condemns neglect of Collegiate Education
  • NPF clarifies on party whip
  • Dialogue with UNC; ILP demand
  • Perils and possibilities
  • Chingarel Biodiversity Park #2 :: Gallery
  • Manipur Girls win 'Oorja' National Football
  • Reforestation & afforestation
  • Coaching Scholarship to UPSC aspirants
  • Sendra Park & Resort #5 :: 360 ° View
  • Program Manager at Library for All, Ukhrul
  • Statement from NPF Kohima on BJP
  • NPF condemns Nagaland Governor
  • NPF snapping ties with BJP ..repercussion
  • Lesser truth in Manipur education sector
  • Landslide at Jiribam Highway #2 :: Gallery
  • Super Division Football #1 :: Gallery
  • Shirui Lily Festival 2017
  • On MPSC's new syllabus for MCSCCE
  • Death is An Art :: Poem
  • Assistant professor, ECE wanted at NERIST
  • New Head Coach Joao Deus for NEUFC
  • Free eye care camp at Loktak Power Station
  • 40 positions in Bangalore & Hyderabad
  • Threats to the idea of Manipur
  • A virtual dream
  • Travelling in Ukhrul District #2 :: Gallery
  • Echoes of the people
  • Various shades of Irom Sharmila
  • High Court Campus, Imphal :: 360 ° View
  • The savage! :: Poem
  • Jobs for the unemployed
  • Scheduled Tribe ki list ta yaohallu
  • Humanitarian assistance to flood victims
  • The call: Separate administration for tribals
  • Resignation of Parliamentary Secretaries
  • Tribute to Sapam Robinhood #2 :: Gallery
  • Imphal city flooded [13 July] #2 :: Gallery
  • The Suitable Boy
  • Fire safety and prevention #2
  • The Man with the Place :: Poem
  • How do we elect the President of India
  • NPF open to a total reconciliation process
  • Plea to protect Manipur ponies
  • Also nail those who gave the order
  • Echum Lairembi, Khurkhul #2:: Gallery
  • Aerial survey of flood :: Gallery
  • Sendra Park & Resort #4 :: 360 ° View
  • Experience in Militarized Landscape
  • Medical: Humanitarian service or job security
  • Deconstructing "THE Thoughts"
  • Fate of JNIMS: MCI may cancel recognition
  • Landslide at Jiribam Highway #1 :: Gallery
  • Subroto Football @Wangjing #1 :: Gallery
  • Rejoinder to Bala & 'Manipuri Feminists'
  • Black sheep in the movement for ILPS
  • My visit to Shri Lanka
  • My First Acquaintance:: Poem
  • Representation submitted to Nagaland Guv
  • Wanted: Noah's Ark for NE
  • Blessing for Sharmila
  • Cabinet outside Imphal: Taking all on board
  • 'Huranbagi Tarani Mapugi nongma'
  • Imphal city flooded [13 July] #1 :: Gallery
  • Wari - Aben :: e-pao Radio
  • Kang Joydeva Chongba #2 :: Gallery
  • In the Quaint Leikai-Village of Kwatha
  • Manipur Sangai International Digital Salon
  • Imphal National Model Shooting Workshop
  • Effective Communication for Careers
  • Manipur Girls advance to semi finals
  • Eggs pass Manipur fitness test
  • Making their stand known: On collision..
  • Will BJP Govt. able to defuse it
  • Battle Of Khongjom & Manipuris in 1891 #2
  • A Copula in Manipuri Language ?
  • Brain drain: A burning issue in India
  • Seagull Seagull :: Poem
  • Minister Yitachu Speaks Out
  • Rs 131 crore lost in Manipur flood
  • National media ignoring NE floods
  • It is BJP & BJP all over: Silence of Congress
  • Menace of Mob Justice
  • Professional Ethics or Personal Security
  • Tourist Watch Tower, Khongjom #2 :: 360 °
  • Monsoon rain :: Poem
  • Look Locally act Nationally
  • Nisa na khunaida piba cheitheng
  • Delayed 50 Bedded Tamenglong Hospital
  • NPF points out Model Code of Conduct
  • Hope for kin of 'fake encounter' victims
  • Next round of tripartite talks : Dists creation
  • The flash flood in Manipur is manmade
  • Ukhongsang village, Heirok :: Gallery
  • Sub-Junior Boys Football #2 :: Gallery
  • Unauthorized selling of high priced Meds
  • Once in a blue moon Chief Secretary
  • Free counselling program for students
  • Twinging Turns of Life :: Poem
  • Highways cut off, paddy fields inundated
  • Rights of the consumers
  • Echum Lairembi, Khurkhul #1:: Gallery
  • Kanglen Kang Chingba #2 :: Gallery
  • Edu Min @TG Higher Secondary :: Gallery
  • Cheiraoba Ching Kaba #8 :: 360 ° View
  • Head-huntings : Nagas' perspective #2
  • Personal chit chat: Modi & Trump
  • Emergency meeting of Naga People's Front
  • Removal of Armed Forces from Loukoipat
  • September ultimatum from JCILPS
  • Tribute to Sapam Robinhood #1 :: Gallery
  • Nabakishore's unceremonious removal...
  • Promo Fashion Show of NE Fashion Week
  • ..ensure removal of army camp from Univ
  • Can Indo-Naga political issue be a secret
  • Kang Khichri chaba :: Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Camping @ Phangrei, Ukhrul #2 :: Gallery
  • Khongjom War Memorial #1 :: 360 ° View
  • Bone-Setter of Maiba-Maibi Laiyeng Pathap
  • Bhagirathi Ganga : Dance by Lianda Folk
  • Kanglen Kang Chingba #1 :: Gallery
  • Introspecting Some Old Games :: Folk
  • Kakching community gardening :: Gallery
  • Travelling along the infamous NH-2
  • Great June Uprising #4 :: Gallery
  • Id-ul-Fitr @Imphal #2 :: Gallery
  • Kang Tournament #1 :: Gallery
  • Konung Kang Chingba #2 :: Gallery
  • Landscape of Ukhrul #1 :: Gallery
  • Brahmacharimayum Roji-Photo #2 :: eRang
  • 15th Mega Miss North East :: Gallery
  • Three Mothers Art Gallery :: Gallery
  • Earth crack at Kangpokpi #2 :: Gallery
  • Lai Khong Chingba @Thangjing #4
  • Arbind Soibam (Singer) :: Erang Photos
  • Manipur Sangai Festival 2016 #5 : Ooba
  • Landscape of Manipur #6: Wallpaper
  • SPONSORED ADS