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No let up in suicides in Kashmir

Mohammed Mohsen

Srinagar, March 07, 2008:

Javid Ahmad Bhat, 26, of Sagam Kokernag working as domestic help in Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian administered Kashmir committed suicide by hanging himself Thursday.

Meanwhile another woman Tahira Begum, 40, attempted to commit suicide by consuming some poisonous substance.

She was rushed to hospital where her condition is stated to be critical.

No reasons have been found behind the two suicides attempts.

In 2007, a study at the Government Hospital for Psychiatric Diseases in Srinagar found that the rate of suicides in Kashmir was 15 to 20 per 100,000 people, a rate that is much higher in comparison to the Muslim world.

Suicides are considered a sin Islam, and Muslims are forbidden to offer funerals of people having committed suicide.

According to World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics for 2005, the rate of suicides in Muslim world is 0.1 to 0.2 per 100,000 people.

WHO has attributed low rate of suicides to strong religious beliefs in these societies.

Earlier a study on suicides in 1980 carried out by National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore found the lowest suicide rate 0.5 per 100,000 in Kashmir in entire India.

Psychologists argue that the failure of coping strategies increases suicidal tendencies and the stressful conditions act as a catalyst for the suicides.

Unemployment, failure in love, marital discord and other domestic reasons are generally cited as the reasons behind suicides.

However the unrest and violence in valley for a sustained period of 18 years too is believed to contribute towards decreasing the levels of tolerance among human beings.

Sociologists argue that though violence may not be directly responsible for suicides in Kashmir but it does create a situation whereby a person might contemplate in terms of putting an end to his or her life.

The trend of suicides and fratricides is also prevalent among the troops deployed in the region.



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