Introduction to Blog

I launched the website and the Blog after having spoken to government officials, political analysts and security experts specializing in South Asian affairs from three continents. The feedback was uniformly consistent. The bottom line is that when Kashmiris are suffering and the world has its own set of priorities, we need to find ways to help each other. We must be realistic, go beyond polemics and demagoguery, and propose innovative ideas that will bring peace, justice and prosperity in all of Jammu and Kashmir.

The author had two reasons to create this blog. First, it was to address the question that was being asked repeatedly, especially, by journalists and other observers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, inquiring whether the Kashmiri society was concerned about social, cultural and environmental challenges in the valley given that only political upheaval and violence were reported or highlighted by media.

Second, the author has covered the entire spectrum of societal issues and challenges facing Kashmiri people over an 8-year period with the exception of politics given that politics gets all the exposure at the expense of REAL CHALLENGES that will likely result in irreversible degradation in the quality of life and the standard of living for future generations of Kashmiris to come.

The author stopped adding additional material to the Blog once it was felt that most, if not all, concerns, challenges and issues facing the Kashmiri society are cataloged in the Blog. There are over 1900 entries in the Blog and most commentaries include short biographical sketches of authors to bring readers close to the essence of Kashmir. Unfortunately, the 8-year assessment also indicates that neither Kashmiri civil society, nor intellectuals or political leadership have any inclination or enthusiasm in pursuing issues that do not coincide with their vested political agendas. What it means for the future of Kashmiri children and their children is unfathomable. But the evidence is all laid out.

This Blog is a reality check on Kashmir. It is a historical record of how Kashmir lost its way.

Vijay Sazawal, Ph.D.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Human Trafficking in Kashmir

Moral degradation is consolidating its ugly roots in the valley

‘Girl Bought for Rs 25,000, Sold for Rs 50,000 in Valley’

Wasim Khalid (Rising Kashmir)

Srinagar: To crack the intra-state human trafficking nexus, Kashmir police is all set to send a special team to West Bengal in order to find out how women are routed to Kashmir and then sold to men in different areas of north Kashmir.

“We have complaints that women from West Bengal are being smuggled and then sold to men here. These men then solemnize forcible marriages with them,” SSP Baramulla, Haseeb Mughal said.

“So we are sending a special investigation teams to break this nexus. It includes nabbing people who buy the women from there and then sell them here on petty prices.”

SSP said besides they have already intimated West Bengal police to find out the reasons as to how women are trafficked.

He said that the human trafficking was particularly prevalent in north Kashmir’s Pattan, Kunzer and Sumbal areas.

Police during their investigation has found that women from West Bengal are being bought by the pimps for Rs 25000 and then transported and sold here for Rs 50,000.

“The aspiring grooms comprise of those men who do not find brides in Kashmir. So they buy them from the pimps who usually smuggle girls from West Bengal,” Mughal said.

Police said more often these marriages end up within a year.

“After the marriage breaks up, the same pimps sell the same girl to other aspiring grooms,” SSP said. “The exploitation of these helpless and poor women thus goes on.”

Now to confront this social issue, the police for the first time has booked four persons under Public Safety Act who were found involved in human trafficking in north Kashmir’s Pattan area of Baramulla district. They were bundled to Kotbilwal Jail.

“These persons were involved in immoral business of human trafficking in and around Pattan town,” SSP said.

“They worked in an organized gang. They exploited the women hailing from outside states like West Bengal and Orrisa, by luring them to provide employment in the valley.

Instead they would exploit them sexually and there after sell them to different people for the same purpose for a meager amount of Rs 20,000 to 30,000.”

The police claimed that such activities, prevalent in north Kashmir, had posed a potential threat to the moral values of the society.

The four accused who were booked under PSA were identified as Ali Mohammad Bhat 22, a resident of Gund Ibrahim Pattan, Mohammad Subhan Dar 27 of Tilwanpora Mirgund, Mohammad Altaf Khan 43 of Checki-Razaq Khan Mirgund Pattan and Maqbool Dar 40 of Tilwanpora Mirgund Pattan.

The police had arrested the four accused at Hanjiwera Mirgund while they were travelling in a vehicle along with a victim girl from West Bengal. The girl was a minor of 16 years of age.

“During investigation we found that the four member gang was involved in the illegal trade from quite a long time” SSP Mughal said.

The police said it is first time that people indulged in human trafficking were detained under PSA (under special provisions of maintenance of Public order).

“It would send a signal that exploitation of poor and helpless women will not be tolerated,” the SSP said.

He said they are expecting more arrests of people involved in this trade in the coming week.

No comments: