Amid rise in domestic violence cases, omission of Women’s Commission leaves victims in lurch

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Pressure group writes to PM, demands restoration of commission in J&K

Jahangeer Ganaie

Srinagar, Jan 08 (KNO): After the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status on 5 August 2019, seven state commissions including state women’s commission were dissolved by the Government of India.

However, a year later, the government is yet to re-establish the commission in the region leaving a population of more than twelve million in a lurch.

A year after the abolition of the Women’s commission in J&K, a pressure group based outside Kashmir who reinstated the commission in Telangana after 30 months has now written to the Prime Minister of India demanding the restoration of the women’s commission in Jammu and Kashmir amid the rise in domestic violence cases across the erstwhile state.

Danish Zahoor, head of the WomComMatters in J&K while talking to news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), said that they are pleading for the restoration of women’s commission of J&K in Srinagar as violence against women has increased since Covid-19 lockdown.

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“Women’s commission is purely a social institute and has nothing to do with politics. They are doing a great job especially for underprivileged women facing different issues,” Zahoor said.

Zahoor said after the abrogation of the special status of J&K, women in the valley have been left in a lurch as they can’t go to Delhi to solve their issues in National Women’s Commission.

“A single women’s police station for 10 districts can’t handle all the cases, there is a need to restore women’s commission in J&K,” he said. “Even those women who had filed cases in the commission before August 05 have also been left vulnerable as they have nowhere to go,” he said.

Zahoor said they have already written to the Prime Minister of India in this regard and are planning to file a petition as well.

Experts, activists and NGOs working on gender issues also believe the commission is an alternative for women to come forward and report violence as for many women filling a complaint at the police station is a daunting task.

As per the first phase of the 2019-20 national family health survey, almost one in three married women experience physical, emotional or sexual violence.

As per survey, only 14 percent of the women after experiencing any kind of violence have sought help, however, over 77 per cent have neither disclosed nor sought help about the violence they experienced.

Notably, after the bifurcation of the erstwhile state of J&K into two separate Union Territories (UT’s) the Women’s Commission, along with six other commissions, including those dealing with human rights, right to information (RTI), and rights of the disabled were disbanded and about 160 special laws that applied to the erstwhile state were scrapped—(KNO)

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