It was one dreaded night when the village of Kunan Pushpora was attacked by a unit from the Indian army camped about ten miles from the village. All the men of the village were rounded up and locked away in a room of an empty house. The soldiers carried bootles of alcohol in their hands and were drinking, swearing and shouting.They had been in the village before, looking for militants.
They turned the lights off and used torches to enter all the homes. When the carnage was over, around 60 women were found lying in their homes either unconsious or weeping in anguish and pain. They had been raped. The victims were old women as well as very young femal children who will now be facing problems for the rest of their lives, if they live this foray by the Indian army. Here we present the testimonies of some of the women who dared to come forward.
I am Ziatun daughter of Abdul Rahim Dar. It was past midnight. My father was not in the house. I recall more than five soldiers entered my house and kicked open all doors. They turned towards me and pounced on my body like hounds and tore all my clothes. The lights went out and after that it was a never ending nightmare. I am unmarried and my future life looks very bleak. I will never recover from the trauma. Indian army look for militants. They knew I was innocent.
My name is Nisara. My father Gulam Mohomad was dragged away by violent military men. We are two sisters in the house at the time. We were screaming for help and struggling at the same time from the brutal attacks from the alcohol smelling soldiers. The room was dark and the army men were shining torch lights.
Both of us were raped in the room and we have no idea how many of these animals were coming and going in the house. We are both unmarried.
My name is Atiqa Begam. I have four children. It was a bleak, cold night and we were all in bed and sleeping. We were woken up by a group of Indian soldiers who burst in smashing all door and utensils. My screaming children were thrown out through the window outside.
They ransacked the house and came for me all with very harsh blows. I was half unconscious. They molested me in turns . I cannot recall how many people were in the house.
I am an elderly woman. My name is Lassi Begam I have three grown up children. The eldest is a policeman. My daughter Saja is deaf and dumb This night of onslaught by Indian army all my doors were smashed. I showed them the police uniform of my son. They took no notice and in the most degraded manner assaulted me and my handicapped daughter. I have never known anything like this in my sixty years of life. I kept shouting, ‘Where is our GOVERNMENT ?
My name is Raja Begam. My husband answered the knock on the door . He did not return and next minute a gang of military men burst open into the bedroom, waving guns and bottles. We were frightened and screamed. All my children were muzzled with hand on their mouth and my clothes were pulled and torn. I was thrown on the ground with my head hitting the floor. I was gang raped by all the men in the room. I heard in my state of faint senses laughter and loud noises from the men. I have not recovered.
I am Munira. My father is Juma Shiekh. I have 2 daughters. This night was like a terrible nightmare –BROKE DOWN
I am Halima Begam. My husband Gulam Rasul was away. I heard this commotion in the village very late in the night. The dreaded noise came very near my house and all my doors were smashed. They were speaking to me in loud voice . I am not educated , I could not decipher what they said or wanted. Next thing I know they pounced upon me like vultures and molested me. I thought I had died. I and my husband are devastated .
I am Rahimi Begam. I was alone in the house. I was petrified when they burst into my small house. I pleaded with them I am a poor woman , please do not harm me. I am innocent. They drank from their bottles and beat me up .. I was on the floor and before long I now realised they were attacking me sexually. I was wanting to die. I pleaded in my language I cried . That had no effect. I had , I reckon a hundred people in my house , on top of me, smothering me and molesting me. I was left in a coma.
I am Jana Begam the widow of Lassa Dar. I have two sons. I was sleeping in my room with my daughter-in-law. we were woken up with loud noises from outside. Suddenly the door was kicked open. We were faced with a lot of Indian, violent, drunk soldiers. They waved bottles at us and threatened with their guns. We did not know what to say. They pounced upon us, threw us on the ground and assaulted both of us. This was the most degrading experience of my life. I wanted to die. Why? I asked have these people come to attack us? I was told they were looking for militants. We are innocent people , poor and live a sheltered life in this remote part of the world. I am still in shock and I never will recover.
I am Shahmal. I am a mother of four and on this night I was alone in the house. We were all sleeping when the onslaught from the military woke us up. We all cried frightened. They tore my clothes off me and in the presence of my children, threw me on the floor and molested me.
I am Jamila. I and my husband with three children were sleeping. It must have been midnight, they took my husband away and raped me in front of my children. We have been attacked four times so far. You come taking statements from us. What is the use?
I am Zaina Begam wife of Jabbar Dar. My husband was grabbed, beaten up and carried away. They came back, ransacked the house, made noises ad drank from bottles. They hit me hard. I was unconscious. There was a big commotion in the village. We thought it was the end for all of us. The Police arrived the next day and took statements. Nothing has been done. We are suffering.
My name is Zarifa Begam. My husband was away and my 5 children were sleeping. It was about 3 in the morning when two Indian soldiers broke open my bedroom door. I was gagged, beaten up and raped. My screams woke my children and they came in to help me. They were pushed into another room with guns and kicks and bolted. I have my whole body hurting from cuts.
Sara Begam wife of Abdul Ahad deposed. It was midnight. I answered a knock on my door. Three men confronted me and shouted ‘Hands up’ in Hindi. I protested that I was alone and there were no militants in my house. They grabbed my hair, pulled it hard, ripped my clothes. What have I done? ‘We have orders from our officers to do this.’ They were violent, they were drunk and they were animals. The night was an ordeal.
My name is Bakhti Begam. My husband is a tailor in the village. It was dead of night. They kicked the door open. They dragged the men from the house and molested us. We were very frightened and tried to struggle, but they beat us up very hard and threw us on the floor. We cannot relate details.
My name is Zooni Begam. My husband Gulam Mohomad Dar was taken away by a group of Indian army in the middle of the night. We had cordon & search by army before, but they never found any guns or militants here. This time they came at night with a surprise and very angry looking. They grabbed hold of my clothes ripped them in pieces and the whole gang set themselves upon me. I suffocated. I could not breath. The aftermath was as if an earthquake had struck us. I have not recouped from the ordeal and never will .
Men in the village were rounded up beaten and locked in a house , while the rampage of their homes and molestation of their homes went on. ” Why do you treat us like this?” They asked. “We have orders to rape your women and destroy the village” The whole village was littered with empty bottles of alcohol. They behaved like animals. There were officers with them, because they had stripes on their uniforms.
This young school-girl was also the victim of this hineous crime.
I am the brother of the Numberdar the headman of the village. My name is Abdul Ahad Shiekh. The army unit is based about ten kilometres from Kunan Pushpora. This was the sixth time they attacked the village. In the past they have been getting everyone out on the road , line them up and search them, men women and children. Then they search the homes , even the animal sties and grain stores for weapons and militants . They never found anything. They have now destroyed the whole village.
I am in the state police force. I was on duty when my officer informed me that I have leave to go home, because there has been trouble in my family. I came here and found that my own sister has been raped by the army . People are still coming to terms after a month of the event . On the morning after the carnage there were about sixty women laid helpless crying, fainted, and in distress. Victims old and young will suffer devastating consequences