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684Kashmir: Sisters Embrace Death To Save Honor

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  • ummyakoub
    May 31, 2003
      Family's pride: Sisters embrace
      death to save honour

      GK News Service

      Srinagar, May 30: A year after the incident in which
      special police officers (SPOs) reportedly killed five
      and seriously injured four members of a family, the
      residents of Dena in Doda district remember the brave
      daughters of their village who embraced death by
      attacking the special police officers (SPOs) who had
      come to assault their chastity.

      On the intervening night of April 9-10, 2002, some
      SPOs entered into the house of Noor Din s/o Baba
      Gujjar of Dena and tried to assault the women.
      At that time male members of the family were in their
      fields in neighbouring village Silva.

      Finding their honour in danger, Haleema Bano (25) and
      Beena Bano (26), wielded axes to defend themselves.
      Enraged by the unexpected resistance, the SPOs fired
      volleys of bullets on them killing them on the spot.

      "They did not stop there," said Gazi Muhammad, their
      brother in law. "They then tried to kill everyone who
      came in their way," he said, adding Zaffar Hussain (8)
      s/o late Muhammad Ibrahim, Muhammad Salim (10) and
      Shabir Ahmad (8), s/o Altaf Din Gujjar were gunned
      down. They also shot at Fatima Bano (10) d/o Gazi
      Muhammad, Arsha Bano (5) d/o late Muhammad Ibrahim
      Gujjar, Gulshana (3) d/o Muhammad Ibrahim Gujjar,
      Jameela (2) d/o Altaf Din Gujjar. They received
      serious injuries but survived to tell the terrible
      story.

      Gazi said the intention of the killers was to kill
      every member of the family to destroy evidence.
      However, the survivors later identified them. Despite
      identification of the killers, according to Gazi, the
      police let five of them off and booked only two.

      The State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) in its report
      has also identified the two SPOs. Quoting FIR 31/2002
      u/s 302/307 RPC, 7/272 registered at police station
      Gandoh, SHRC in its report 2002/114 has identified two
      accused as Rajinder Singh (No 2509) s/o Munshi Ram of
      Dhar Sarore Kishtwar, Subhash Chander (No 611/SPO) s/o
      Chakar Lal of Parashola Doda.

      The SHRC also directed the concerned deputy
      commissioner to release ex-gratia relief in their
      favour. DC Doda in a letter vide 2064/IR/D dated
      November 25, 2002, wrote to divisional commissioner
      Jammu that two SPOs of STF post Haryana tehsil Thathri
      killed five persons of a family and asked for his
      approval for grant of ex-gratia relief in favour of
      the family in accordance with the directions of SHRC.
      However, hitherto no grant has been issued in favour
      of the family.

      The family had to face innumerable hardships. Exactly
      the year before the massacre by SPOs, militants had
      killed Beena Bano's husband Muhammad Ibrahim. "The
      militant who had killed my brother Ibrahim on charges
      of being an informer later surrendered," said Gazi
      Muhammad. "After killing Ibrahim, the militants didn't
      even hand over his body to us," he added.

      "I have lost half of my family members, my grandsons,
      my son. But I don't have any regrets," said aged Noor
      Din. "Whenever I think about these tragedies my only
      consolation is sheer courage of my daughter-in-laws
      who embraced death to save their honour," she said,
      tears rolling down her wrinkled cheeks.


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