“He was cruel, like a mad dog”: Survivors speak about forced sodomy by members of the security forces in Kashmir

20 July 2018
According to Khurram Parvez, a human-rights activist and coordinator of the Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society, sexual abuse is being used as a weapon of war in Kashmir.
Fayaz Kabli / REUTERS
According to Khurram Parvez, a human-rights activist and coordinator of the Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society, sexual abuse is being used as a weapon of war in Kashmir.
Fayaz Kabli / REUTERS

On the evening of 27 February 2009, as a lone security guard shut the heavy metallic door with a thud, an 18-year-old Kashmiri lay curled in a corner of a Srinagar prison cell, naked, howling, and writhing in pain. He knew he was bleeding—he could feel the blood coming out of his rectum—but he couldn’t bring himself to look. More than the pain, he said, it was the humiliation that was unbearable.

Earlier that day, half a dozen policemen entered his cell and stripped him naked. Five policemen then took turns to sodomise him, the survivor, now 27 years old said. The others watched, recording the act on video, laughing, spitting at him, and hurling abuses.

After they left, another policeman walked in. “I thought he would console me, but he was more brutal,” the 27-year-old, a resident of Downtown in Srinagar, recounted. “He dragged me to the middle of the prison cell, unzipped his pants and thrust himself inside me. I cried out loud and then my voice choked. It felt as if the flesh inside me had been burnt. After that, I blacked out. He was more cruel, like a mad dog.”

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    Qadri Inzamam is an independent journalist based in Kashmir.

    Haziq Qadri is a multimedia journalist based in New Delhi. He tweets at @haziq_qadri.

    Keywords: Kashmir torture HIV/AIDS Sexual violence Security forces
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