Parveena Ahangar, a story of courage from Kashmir

For 30 years, Ahangar has fought for justice against disappearances in Indian-administered region

Several weeks ago authorities in Indian-administered Kashmir raided the home and offices of Parveena Ahangar, a local human rights defender, over alleged “terrorist funding,” sending shockwaves in NGOs operating in the region.

The “iron lady of Kashmir” said that in 30 years of activism, the Oct. 28 raid by the Indian National Investigation Agency was the first time such brazen action was taken against her, calling it “saddening.”

She said such raids endanger the lives of families of the victims who are longing for justice.

On the eve of International Women Human Rights Defenders Day, observed Sunday, Anadolu Agency spoke with Ahangar, who is chair and founder of the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP), a group seeking justice for victims of enforced disappearances in the Indian-administered region.

“For the last three decades, nobody has raised questions on my work and integrity. This is for the first time that the Indian Investigating Agency wants to prove otherwise, but I will not budge what I am committed to before my God,” Ahangar said in her office in Srinagar.

In 2017, the Indian National Investigation Agency started pursuing a case against pro-freedom activists and groups, claiming that they were getting money from undisclosed sources and using it to fund terrorist activities.

Since then, many raids have been carried out across the region.

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