Kashmir: Islamist women's group encourages others to carry knives

Gulf News
An Islamist women's separatist group in Jammu and Kashmir said yesterday it would begin training Muslim women in martial arts and called on women to carry daggers to fend off sexual attacks by soldiers.
The Dukhtaran-e-Millat alleges that the military systematically uses rape and sexual molestation to intimidate the local populace and maintains that at least 3,000 Kashmiri women have been sexually assaulted since 1990.
The military denies the strategic use of sexual abuse, although it acknowledges that a problem exists and says 76 security forces personnel have been arrested for rape or sexual assault since 2000, and at least 10 convicted.

Aasiyeh Andrabi, the head of Dukhtaran, said women needed to believe that "a knife is enough to deter an attack on a woman's chastity." She added that the group would soon start a martial arts club to train women and young girls in self-defence.

It is the second time Dukhtaran has called on women to carry knives. In 1993, the group distributed nearly 5,000 daggers to women in Kashmir. The Islamist group generally campaigns against perceived acts of immorality in Kashmir [...]

25 July 2007