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Kashmiri girls face mental trauma: Psychologists

Heavy military presence triggers anxiety among women: Dabla

Srinagar, June 21: Following the rape and brutal murder of two women in Shopian, psychologists fear that the Kashmiri girls may undergo psychological disorders and prefer to stay indoors.
Bodies of two women Asiya (17) and her sister-in-law Neelofar (22) were recovered from a shallow stream at Banagam, Shopian on May 30. The autopsy and FSL reports have revealed that the women were raped and killed.
Assistant Professor Government Psychiatric Hospital Srinagar, Dr Sadaqat Rehman told Rising Kashmir that the Shopian incident may have fallout on the psyche of the womenfolk. “Though Kashmir had witnessed many rapes and molestation incidents in past but the mysterious nature of the Shopian case may lead to psychological disorders among the teenaged girls”.

Rehman said immediately after the Shopian incident, a 15 year old girl from Pulwama, Nighat underwent psychological disorders. “She had developed fear psychosis due to the Shopian incident and is the first case of its kind after the gruesome incident in South Kashmir,” said Rehman, adding, “We provided her proper counselling and she has responded well to the treatment. Her condition is improving”.
Explaining Nighat’s behavioural changes, the psychiatrist said the girl stopped taking meals and told her parents that she doesn’t want to go to the school as she was feeling unsafe. “Nighat told me too that she was feeling unsafe as she had to cross a bridge like the one at Rambiar stream in Shopian”.

He said after the Shopian incident Nighat did not venture out of her house for many days. “Feeling the change, her family members brought her here for treatment,” he said.

Rehman said many teenage girls have sought counselling from the psychiatrists in the GPH after their parents detected changes in their behaviour. “Shopian spill over can be dangerous. Like Nighat, many girls would be suffering from sleep disorder and behavioural changes,” he said.

The psychiatrist said if remedial measures are not taken, the girls would prefer to stay indoors.

Rehman said some of the girl patients intended to carry poison pills, knives and pesticides with them to defend themselves in case of attack on their honour and chastity. “Some girl patients and their parents sought suggestions from us how to defend themselves in case they get caught in Shopian like situation,” said Rehman.

Meanwhile, sociologist, Prof Bashir Ahmad Dabla attributed the fear that has gripped the womenfolk to the heavy presence of military in the region. “A sudden look at a trooper sends shock wave among the woman. It is here where a woman who is already caught in the domestic violence, becomes a psychiatric patient,” he said.
Citing few examples of a book published by London School of Economic about “Women in Conflict”, Dabla said the book points out that in the areas which are heavily militarized, women are the worst sufferers. “It is the women who are being raped or molested. The level of patience in women is less than that of a man. This is the primary reason why women suffer shocks even if they hear a sound of an explosion,” Dabla said.

He said the rise in drug abuse among Kashmiris including girls is also directly related to the heavy presence of military in the region.


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