Book Review | Do you Remember Kunan Poshpora?

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Author: Samreen Mushtaq, Essar Batool, Natasha Rather, Ifrah Butt, Munaza Rashid

On a cold February night in 1991, a group of soldiers and officers of the Indian army stormed into two villages in Kashmir, seeking out militants assumed to be hiding there. Incensed at the villagers’ refusal to share any information, soldiers pulled residents from their homes, torturing men and raping women. According to village accounts, as many as thirty-one women were raped. The Indian army initially carried out cursory investigations before shelving the case without explanation. Kunan and Poshpora have since become known as the villages of raped women, and their residents have found it difficult to escape this stigma.

Then in 2012, the rape and murder of a young medical student in Delhi galvanized a protest movement so widespread and deep that it reached far beyond India’s borders. In Kashmir, a group of young women, all in their twenties, were inspired to reopen the Kunan-Poshpora case and revisit their history and that of the 1991 survivors. Do You Remember Kunan Poshpora? is a personal account of their journey, examining questions of justice, stigma, state responsibility, and the long-term impacts of trauma. With rarely heard voices and concerns, this book gives readers an opportunity to know the lives of ordinary Kashmiris in a state suffocated by thirty years of military rule.

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