Illustration by Khytul Abyad
The Conflict in Kashmir has been characterized by large scale use of sexual violence by multiple belligerents since its inception, Numerous scholars and human rights agencies assert that since the onset of the insurgency in Jammu Kashmir in 1988, rape has been leveraged as a ‘weapon of war’ by security forces, However, the government rejects such charges.
A report by Human Right watch says that Militants have also allegedly committed rapes, which remain under-researched, Mass rapes were carried out by Dogra troops as well as Hindu and Sikh mobs, and by Pakistani tribesmen infiltrators when the conflict broke out in 1947.
In 1989, attacks on Kashmiri Hindus escalated and Muslim insurgents allegedly selectively raped, tortured and killed Kashmiri Pandits, allegedly burnt their temples, idols and holy books. The Pandits fled en masse from the state after which their houses were burnt by militants and their artwork and sculptures were destroyed. While cases of systematic rape of Kashmiri Muslim women by the Indian military are well documented, the details and scale of sexual violence against Kashmiri Pandit women remain largely to be researched.http://thekashmiriyat.co.uk/cases-of-sexual-violence-in-kashmir-that-remain-unheard-exclusive-report/