Families Of Militants Left To Live Poor, Destitute Lives
During the first phase of militancy, the separatists used to provide some token assistance to the families of militants. They used to collect huge funds from the Gulf, Europe and other regions to supposedly help the families of militants. Over the years, it was revealed that only a nominal amount was given to the families of militants. The rest was cornered by the separatist masterminds. This was the situation. Those in the separatist camp lived plush lives with the money that they had collected in the name of the families of militants. They told the women that their husband had acquired Jannat for them as well. They told the children that their fathers had acquired Jannat for them. The women and children lived penniless lives.
The separatists even sold the seats that Pakistan had reserved in medical colleges for the kin of militants. The militants usually came from poor families. Their family members had no idea of medical seats reserved for them by Pakistan. The families were left to life alone and desperate. The women and children could not take the help of the state because they were linked to militants. But they deserve compassion and help, which is being denied to them. Recently, there were media reports that the Pakistani wives and ex-wives of Kashmiri militants demanded Indian citizenship or deportation to Pakistan. They held protests outside Press Enclave at Lal Chowk, Srinagar. Kashmiri women who married militants are suffering. Pakistani women who married militants are suffering. On both ends, women and children are suffering.
The lives of Kashmiri women are entangled in a complex web as a result of the struggle. They must make peace with the current and imposed socio-cultural order in society. Women’s lives are impacted by all these situations, and their challenges are often overlooked by both society and state organizations. Getting compensation from the government is already difficult. In Kashmir, this is also fraught with societal stigma. There is social and cultural opposition to any state assistance because it is believed that it weakens the common cause. The situation is so paradoxical. Since there is a poor investment in the private sector, Kashmiris hanker after government jobs in every sector – be it bureaucracy, police, academia, medicine, etc. At the same time, social stigma is attached to seeking state assistance. They say the state that is providing the money or the job is also responsible for the prevailing conditions. A spiral of loss is created by the double-bind: hopes, stigma, conflict, and guilt. Whatever one accomplishes, he or she is bound to be trapped in conflict and guilt.
Wives Of Policemen Impacted By conflict
Another set of desperate Kashmiri women affected by the violence are the widows of policemen killed in militant attacks. In 2017, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen militants said that those working with JK Police should stay at home and not participate in counter-insurgency actions. In an 11-minute video that appeared on social media, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen commander Riyaz Naikoo warned, “We are urging police officers to sit in their homes, same as other agencies’ employees are doing. The fate of the policeman who attends duty would be nothing but death.” Militants continue to kill the policemen. Their wives and children are left behind. The government has special schemes for these women, but applying for the schemes is a challenge. Since policemen are treated as anti-Muslim, their wives are treated in the same way. They are not provided with any help.
The conflict has driven women and children from diverse backgrounds into poverty and helplessness.