IIOJK mothers awaiting detained, disappeared sons

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When International Mother’s Day is being observed across the world, today, thousands of Kashmiri women continue waiting for the return of their sons subjected to enforced disappearance in custody by Indian troops in occupied Kashmir and detained in different jails.

A report released by the Research Section of Kashmir Media Service on International Mother’s Day, pointed out that continued Indian state terrorism had resulted in the killing of 96,192 Kashmiris including women and children from 1989 to 8th May 2022. As many as 22,960 women have been widowed by the Indian forces and 11,257 raped, disgraced or molested during the period

It said, relatives including mothers, wives and daughters of illegally detained APHC leaders, activists, Ulemas, journalists, human rights defenders and youth have expressed serious concern over the health of their relatives languishing in different jails of India and IIOJK.

The report deplored that over two dozen women, including 63-year-old resistance leader, Aasiya Andrabi, Naheeda Nasreen Fehmeeda Sofi, Shazia Akhter and Insha Tariq were illegally facing detention in different jails, including India’s infamous Tihar jail, on false charges.

The report pointed out that the troops had subjected about 8,000 Kashmiris to custodial disappearance during the period and the mothers of the majority of these disappeared people had been waiting for their return. Second Sunday of May is observed as Mother’s Day since 1914 as a result of continued efforts by Anna Jarvis, daughter of Ann Reeves Jarvis, a peace activist in, West Virginia, the United States, for her mother’s contributions towards the society.

It deplored that the Kashmiri mothers were bearing the brunt of Indian state terrorism as the Kashmiri women, including mothers, had taken the ultimate hit by losing their near and dear ones to Indian bullets.

The report said thousands of Kashmiri mothers continue to wait for return of their sons imprisoned or subjected to enforced disappearances in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK). Several Kashmiri mothers have, so far, died in their quest to find their sons disappeared in Indian troops’ custody, it added.

It lamented that the Kashmir mothers were even not allowed to mourn the deaths of their sons martyred by Indian troops and to bury them at places of their choice.

Meanwhile, several mothers, including Haseena Begum died whose son Syed Anwar Shah, a wall painter by profession, went missing on 21 July 2000, when arrested by Indian troops in Srinagar.

Mahtaba Begum, hailing from Kashmir’s far-off village Karhama, died while looking for her son who was arrested during a crackdown in 1990. Her son Mohammad Yaqub Khan was a laborer.

Misra Begum of Bemina’s boatman colony died in the desolation of her only son Shabbir Hussain Gasi who was arrested by the Indian army on 21 January 2000. Hameeda Parveen died in 2012 after searching from pillar to post with the hope that her son would one day return to home. Details informed that her son, Abid Hussain, was a student.

Zoona Begum, hailing from Raj Bagh, whose son disappeared in May 1996 when he was detained after forces raided his house. Her son Imtiyaz Ahmad was a forester. Zoona died in 2011 while waiting for her son to return home.

Haleema Begum, hailing from Batamaloo area, died in February 2020. She struggled for two and half decades in search of her son, Basharat Ahmad Shah, who was studying at Aligarh Muslim University, India. Basharat was arrested on 7 January 1990 by Indian paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force personnel from Sopore area.

The United Nations and other global bodies, working for women’s rights, must take note of the sufferings of the Kashmiri mothers in the occupied territory, the report maintained

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