Jun 02, 2009
The roaring wind made us all rush to the window of the drawing room overlooking the lawn. We all stood rooted to the ground witnessing a shower turning into a pour not of rain but hail. As the white tiny balls (resembling shreen a sugar ball traditionally used in festivities and religious ceremonies in Kashmir ) scattered on the ground falling and then rebounding furiously. Soon the green grass was adorned by white pearls. Nature was at its best and most furious as well. The wind was howling, dangerously swaying the trees as well as the rain.
My brother was worried about his plants in the garden. My grandpa was thinking about the orchard owners ours being a horticulture region. The hail translated into loss for them.
I was calm. I had never seen such wind. This was the most furious till date. Surprisingly it didn’t scare me. The rage of nature matched my inner rage. I felt like nature was in tandem with my own feelings. I felt one with God at that very moment.
A host of problems have been plaguing me for long. I guess it is same for everybody . To each his own. But at that very moment I wanted to believe the common thing that was bothering me and God was the tragedy that occurred in Kashmir. On 30th May two women were gang raped and then murdered at village Bonagam in Shopian. A teenaged girl Asiya Jan and her pregnant sister in law Neelofar Jan left for their orchard at 4.00 pm never to return. Their orchard is just 2 km away from their home. An army camp is nearby. A stream is between their orchard and the area that hosts the camp. On their way back home the tragedy occurred. Their bodies were fished out of a stream the next day. They clothes were torn.
The girls brother had gone out looking for them but couldn’t find them till 3 in the morning. He went home and came back after two hours only to find them in a bad state with torn clothes.
The government was trying to hush the matter to the extent that the Chief Minister said nothing had happened. The Post Mortem Report was not made public. In fact they did two of them as the first said nothing had happened. A lady doctor in the second team was made to swear (she was made to keep her hand on the holy Quran) before answering by the people. On being asked what had happened her answer was “It is better for all Kashmiri girls to die than this. It is the work of beasts not humans”
They saw the rectum had come out and also the uterus.
Since yesterday we are on a strike meaning all the city is closed down and people are protesting. The government has put restrictions which are akin to curfew in some places.
They are trying to deny the incident.
People are angrier because such incidents have been happening by and large in villages but don’t get reported due to societal trash. So it has been simmering for too long now.
Had a horrible day. I woke up with a stomach pain which in fact started in the night itself.
I passed the whole day in pain or the apprehension of it. I couldn’t locate the cause. A friend called and while discussing my condition I happened to mention that I used to get stomach ache due to tension/stress ( she was trying to figure out the cause u see and I was rejecting them like spices, empty stomach etc). Then I was trying to assess am I straining myself too much as always. Yup I have been thinking too much lately.
The wind took away electricity. Had a candle lit dinner .
The protests are on. You know what we do. People here pelt stones at police. And the police fire bullets not the rubber ones. So many have been killed this way. They tried rubber ones once or twice but fired them in such a fashion that it nevertheless resulted in deaths. Not in the legs or something like they are meant to be. They also use what we call tear gas (smoke canisters). They use the ones that are not allowed on civil population. Made in Israel, the ones that are meant for a full fledged war (Yes, war with all. And they aim it in such a way that it results in death like rather than firing it on the ground they aim it at the head of the protestors. A few teenagers have made it to heaven in last few months thanks to them.
The electricity has not been restored. I was looking forward to first of June for the programme of VOF to start but then one never knows how things turn out especially in my region. I am confined to my home and wondering when I will be able to post this and how much more will I add before posting. I am also wondering what has happened in the first week of the programme. No internet at home. Life can be hell :)
I am also worried about the loss these days mean to my work. Had some guests at home from 31st they had to stay due to the strike but today they managed to go home. I have been busy with them.
I am all with the strike and among all the Kashmiris who want justice for the two victims. The separatists’ leaders have been arrested or house arrested.
A 22 yr old who was injured by smoke shell succumbed today.
My granny has been hospitalized a few days back. The hospital is a few kms from our home. Dad is there alternately for night. Mom goes to see her daily. She has to walk and it takes her an hour each while coming and going. She has a back problem and it is really difficult for her to walk. But then we don’t have a vehicle of our own. I didn’t go as I am still taking precaution with my foot (remember I had broken ligaments)
Not feeling like writing lately. A journo friend called giving me the account of his colleague who had been to Shopian for a story on the incident. I felt the pain afresh. I asked him why males don’t get raped. To humour me he said you women are selective about whom to sleep with for men it makes no difference. I was too disturbed to say something and hung up.
How could a human being inflict so much of pain on the other and derive pleasure out of it. I wish they all get hanged publicly. No better still they go through much more pain themselves.
I was angry with God. I always think that God should have given women more physical strength than men because they need it. Because they are so vulnerable they need to protect themselves. But then this can’t be undone.
But we all need to learn some sort of self defense. I suggest whosoever has a chance do so. And you all mothers there get your daughters taught.
Sources say the medical report has confirmed gangrape. The authorities are not speaking. Today a women’s organization had asked all women to assemble at Eidgah which also houses the martyr’s graveyard. All the roads leading to Eidgah are blocked. Eidgah is under curfew with the adjoining areas.
After the afternoon prayers hundreds of women managed to reach Eidgah but the troopers fired teargas canisters and beat them up with bamboo sticks.
We are still on strike meaning no transport, all offices, schools and establishments closed.
People are either protesting on streets stone pelting or in their homes.
As expected curfew in some parts. Today was Shopian Chalo meaning all the people had to go the area where it happened? It was known that the administration won’t let the people do it.
The government had convened a meeting of the media and has ordered the local cable channels who cover the local news extensively to limit their news time from 8.00 PM to 8.15 PM daily. Friends this is the biggest so called democracy of the world. Can u believe it the CM Chief Minister (the head of the state government) who talks of e governance and information technology is asking the local cable channels to limit their news to 15 minutes daily only. In this age of internet this is blasphemy.
The strike has been called off from tomorrow. Though the protests will continue. I may be able to finally post this.
The procession of people who had managed to reach Shopian was fired at leaving several injured. Dad was at the hospital when a few of them were bought there. There was hue and cry dad said and so many women were crying.
I ask what we have done. Don’t we have a right to protest? The country that is proud of Mahatma Gandhi the beacon of non-violence is doing what in practice. Firing on unarmed peaceful protestors. There can’t be a better example of preach but not practice.
A friend called giving the account of a journalist working for a national news channel. He had filed a report today which has raised hue and cry. His version is that there was no rape. It was all with mutual consent.
I was really shocked. Though the man is known as a state agent I still wonder does he have no conscience. If it was all consented why did they need to die and in such a condition.
He says the forensic report does not indicate rape. The police have only filed a charge of rape and not murder.
Isn’t it easy to confirm if the troops have done it? They can get the DNA from the bodies all they need is the DNA of the soldiers. My friend tells me forget it they have all been transferred it is over. She is more disturbed and wants to do something about it. I am numb.
I can post this as the strike is off. I am at work. A lot to do.