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Asiya advises Kashmiri women to carry daggers

Srinagar, July 16, 2007:

The chief of hardline Kashmiri women's separatist group Dukhtaran-e-Millat, Asiya Andrabi has asked Kashmiri women and girls to carry daggers for their safety from the "evil intentions of Indian troops".

Accusing the Indian troops of having 'evil intentions' towards Kashmiri women and girls, the DM chief also asked people to boycott any civilian programmes of troops like the "Operation Sadhbavana".

The announcement comes in the backdrop of recent allegations of molestations and rape by Indian troops in Kashmir.

Last month two troopers were paraded naked by locals in south Kashmir town of Bandipora, after they allegedly attempted to rape a local woman. The incident was followed by similar allegations from other towns.

Allegations of rapes and molestations against troops started to surface in Kashmir after the outbreak of anti-India insurgency in 1989.

Andrabi today said women were being targeted as a war tactic.

Accusing the troops of using their social programs as counterinsurgency tools, Asiya said the troops were exploiting women availing these programs.

She also quoted former DIG of Border Security Force, K S Padhi - one of the accused in the infamous Kashmir scandal- to put forth her accusation.

In revelations that occurred during the surfacing of the infamous sex scandal in Kashmir in 2006, that involved bureaucrats, police officers and politicians of the region, the DIG had admitted that police and troops were using Kashmiri women for "counter insurgency operations and spying".

The firebrand leader advised people to keep distance from troops, and not to send their children particularly girls to institutes, or programs run by troops.

She added that her group was planning to impart martial arts training to girls for self defence.

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