KCSDS seminar presses for stringent laws

Speakers Say Cops Must Focus On Investigation, Stop Moral Policing



Srinagar, Jan 10: The Valley-based civil society members and students Thursday launched a crusade against the violence inflicted on women to push the government for making stringent laws to prevent such crimes.
 The civil society members also criticized the ‘moral policing’ by Police on coaching centers saying that recent raids by the cops are “offensive” as police’s role is not regulatory.
 Speaking at a day-long conference on “Different Forms of Violence against Women” organized by the Kashmir Centre for Social and Development Studies (KCSDS) at Amar Singh College, the speakers condemned recent incidents of acid throwing on a school teacher at Barzulla and rape of a minor at Shopian.
 They also stressed on devising a plan of action to counteract the growing menace of violence against women. “In this regard, the legal fraternity is being called upon to ensure the speedy prosecution and conviction of the perpetrators responsible for such heinous crimes,” the participants said.
 KCSDS chairperson, Prof Hameeda Nayeem said the crimes against women had seen an increasing trend over the years as the corporate world and a section of media objectify and modify women’s body. “The unregulated profusion of TV channels and their cultural aggression and distortion of local cultures escalates the violence,” she said  
 Prof Hameeda said the domestic and civilian violence was a common phenomenon that spans across cultures and societies and “it has been exacerbated by militarization in Kashmir.”
 Columnist, Dr Javed Iqbal, said the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) had reflected the swell in the crimes inflicted on women in last three years.
 Criticizing the police action on coaching centers, he said: “The police’s role is to speed up investigation rather than dictating terms to educational institutions.”
 Dr Iqbal said the society had to wake up in order to stop such immoral activities.  
 Muhammad Shafi Khan, a teacher asserted that it was the responsibility of police stations to maintain law and order in their areas and book the culprits. "But they have spread their domain which has turned them into violators many a times,” he said
 “There is a clear example in the shape of 2006 sex scandal and 2009 Shopian incidents where police mistreated the victims rather than focusing on the investigation wholeheartedly,” Khan said.
 A businessman and a trade union leader, Sadiq Baqal stressed on the uplift of moral values at home rather than being enforced by police. “We should devise a strategy in order to provide safe environment to our girls in the society so that they may report any violation against them," he said.
 Columnist Ajaz-ul-Haq, urged the participants to control the hysteria created by a crime in the society. “We should take women issues as a part of human rights to avoid any division in the opinion. It will make our fight against such crimes easier,” he said.
 Shahid Rasool, a Kashmir University teacher said that we should not make our girls vulnerable to such crimes. “It is the parents who should be alert about their children and ensure that they are engaged in right activities,” he said.
 Ghulam Nabi Shaheen, a noted lawyer blamed disintegration of family structure and complication of marriage for the increased violence against women. He said the society should make the institution of marriage simple to stop such activities. 
 Besides, others the conference was attended academicians, lawyers, business leaders, medicos, social activists including the AS College Principal, Prof Zahoor Ahmad Chat, teachers, Prof Noor Ahmad Baba, Muhammad Anwar, Abdul Majid Zargar, Shakeel Qalander, ZG Muhammad, Syed Nazim-ud-Din, Faiz Bakshi, Ateeqa Banu, Advocate Bashir Ahmad Bashir, Prof Shiekh Showkat, Hawa Bashir, Qurat-ul-Ain, Arshi Javaid, Deeba Iqbal, Andleeb, Syed Fazal Illahi, Advocate Ashraf Wani, Abdul Majid Bhat, Nadeem Qadiri, Advocate Altaf Meraj and a group of young journalists.  

 Later, a section of civil society members and students staged a silent protest to push the government for bringing strict laws against acid attacks and suitable compensation to victims. “It is an act of terrorism of inhumanity,” they said.
 Earlier, the event ‘Justice for Survivors of Acid Attack’ was started on social networking site Facebook.
 A section of Civil Society Groups and, students from J&K and other states would also begin a movement in Delhi on January 11 against acid attacks.
 This would be in the form of a “Biggest freeze mob in India for acid attack victims” by the students of Delhi University in New Delhi.
 The event is being organized after a 30-year-old crèche teacher was attacked by a stalker in Srinagar on January 2, leading to serious injuries on her face and eyes.
 According to the organizers, Kashmiri students camping in Delhi are also registering themselves for the event in the backdrop of fresh attack in Srinagar. “Participants are supposed to freeze in their respective positions at places such as near inner circle, Connaught Place and near Metro Gate-6 (Palika Bazar Parking), sporting black goggles and yellow arm band/ ribbon on their left arms for 15 minutes (4.00 to 4.15 pm),” they said.

The conference unanimously adopted the following resolution:
* An awareness campaign by media, religious fraternity and   civil society organizations must be launched for bringing   about greater awareness in people about women rights    agreed upon universally in UN declaration of human    rights.

* Gender domination mindset must be fought at all levels by   an organized and sustained campaign and in all the  discourses in public and private life.

* The civil society demands stringent punishment in tune    with the best practices of justice.

*Women’s human status must be stressed in all religious,   social and cultural discourses.

* The civil society demands an immediate end to the culture   of impunity at civil as well state level.

* Philosophical orientation needs to be given to education    which should stress on the integrated growth of child’s    personality in which respect for women is ingrained     from the very beginning. This move could pave the way for   healthy,  harmonious, disciplined and God-fearing     society. Ultimately it is the fear of God more than fear    of law that could deter people from committing crimes not   only against  women but every other crime as well.

* Role of cinema and advertisements in comodifying women   is seen as contributing to the crimes against women.

* Drug menace and alcoholic abuse are also found  contributing  to crimes against women and as such need to   be redressed at civil society level and by state agencies.

* Public transport needs to be made secure for women.

* Civil society in addition to getting organized at macro level   need to act at micro level too by framing Mohalla  committees  to act as watchdogs for crimes against women.

* Speedy prosecution of the alleged perpetrators of crimes   against women both by security and civil actors must be    initiated and concluded in a time bound frame work. In this   regard the recommendations of the 21-page report     independently prepared by Asia Watch on “Rapes in     Kashmir”should be implemented.

* Police reforms need to be speedily initiated in order to sensitize police force to domestic violence against women.

* Judicial activism and fast-track courts are imperative to hand out exemplary sentences in crimes against women in a shortest possible time.

Lastupdate on : Wed, 9 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 9 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 10 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST

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