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Monday, March 4, 2024

Dark decades of Kashmir: How jihadis like Burhan Wani had turned the valley into a ‘Porn-Hub’

A picture of an aged Kashmiri man kissing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s large standee went viral on social media just last week. To the detractors of PM Modi, it was a PR stunt well managed by the ruling BJP. But a common Kashmiri is acknowledging the changes sweeping the valley after the removal of article 370.

For several decades, Kashmir’s most scenic valleys have hidden some of the deepest perverse stories of the brutal sexual violence perpetrated against the local women by the Jihadi’s. For the terrorist’s in Kashmir, sex was their religion and the valley… their porn hub. Burhan Wani, who became a face of terrorism in the valley in the past decade, had an unhindered access to the Kashmiri local homes and a defacto right to rape any women at will – in most cases, the fathers also facilitated Wani with their daughters – sources in the Indian army say.

Wani’s multiple mobile devices, after he was killed by the Indian army in an encounter, revealed hundreds of sexually awkward pictures of Kashmiri girls and a long list of contacts to satisfy his cotius needs. Another terrorist nicknamed the ‘Mast Gul’ (a ladies man) kiilled in an encounter before Wani, was Kashmir’s most infamous playboys with a penchant for girls, who had freshly attained puberty. A crowd of women both in their teens and also a little older and married, shoved-off their tops and thrust their bosoms onto his dead face as Gul’s lifeless body was being dragged down a hill by the army after his encounter.

The hapless Kashmiri husbands, the victims of Gul’s frequent forays into their homes, spat on his body. The picturesque snow clad mountains of Gulmarg and the Dal Lake of Srinagar have masked a society that for decades, after the exodus of the Kashmiri Pandits, has been grappling with bloodshed, decayed values and a hugely reluctant attitude to confront its own muck. Every gun toting terrorist was a hero to the Kashmiris, who shamelessly granted them unrestricted access to their young daughters and wives.

Men who envied the terrorists for stealing their wives fell in minority in Kashmir. There are stories of women taking pride in their first child being fathered by a Jihadi instead of their husband – a kind of phantasm for civilized societies. The slogan “Pakistan jaayenge, bachha leke aayenge” (We wish to be impregnated by a Jihadi from Pakistan), spread like a war cry among the Kashmir women at the peak of terrorism in 1990s. These sordid tales of sexual perversity have been brushed and stuffed under the carpet to paint the terrorists as valiant and righteous freedom fighters and the locals as pitiful victims of a fascist Indian state.

More than the promise of Kashmir’s freedom, it was the desire to sexually exploit Kashmiri women at gun point and a perverted sense of respect that led the youth to become a Jihadi. The Indian army is full of stories from the captured terrorists, who were promised pretty Kashmiri women as the spoils of Jihad. Plight Of Those Who Were Suppressed “Sir, das pandrah log aate hai, meri do betiyon ko kharab kar ke jaate hai (Sir, 10 to 15 terrorists visit our home and frequently rape my two daughters),” head of a small Kashmiri village told the Indian army with tears dripping down his eyes. Gun-wielding terrorists from across the border had impregnated the man’s two daughters aged 15 years and 18 years – one of whom had to undergo painful surgery for abortion. Several like this man turned informers for the Indian army.

For years, India was on the lookout for Abu Mazza, the mastermind of Kashmir’s most dastardly Nadimarg massacre, where terrorists killed 24 of Kashmiri Hindus and toddlers.But he only fell in the net after a teenage girl reached out to the army with information. The girl (13 years) was a victim of Mazza, who frequently raped her and two of her elder sisters at gun point. Stories of rape and sexual assault on young girls seldom remain hidden in Kashmir and girls are forced into flesh trade by terrorists.

Several such Kashmiri girls ended up as prostitutes and call girls in big cities. Dr Abhinav Pandya, a researcher and expert on counter terrorism says women are chief casualties in regions inflicted with terrorism. “Their psychological trauma is immeasurable, we should not be harsh on them. Women are the cross-bearers in any conflict-ridden places. You will see such trends in different parts of the world, where terrorism has lasted for decades. Nobody wants to marry a girl who is perceived as a sexual slave of a terrorist.

A lot of them are blackmailed and pushed into the flesh trade. Maybe the removal of article 370 will bring some change.” But it may be too early. Data from the National Commission for Women (NCW) shows how human trafficking in Jammu and Kashmir has risen by 15.56 percent this year compared to 2022. The NCW report has called the trend a “tip of the iceberg”. The Indian army says at least the removal of Article 370 has given new hope to the women in the valley. Terrorism, flesh trade and Pakistan are a few words they want to erase from the vocabulary.

(The article was published on Businessworld.in on January 08, 2024 and has been reproduced here)

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