Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Kashmiri Women form Village Defense Committee

Kashmiri women take up arms for self-protection Women in remote villages are taking up arms against militants who had been preying on them. [The original story is gone, see this copy.]

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"I am proud to fight a Jihad [holy war] against marauders who have cheated us of our dignity and honor," says Shamima Akhter, the 30-year-old commander of this particular women's group.

"Militants who would force us to provide them shelter, food and at times to entertain them physically were harassing us physically and mentally. If we opposed them they would commit rapes or kill our family members. We wanted to confront them and the only way to do it was to acquaint ourselves with the basic functioning of guns and grenades," she added.
The men typically work in other countries, leaving women, children and the elderly alone in remote mountainous regions.

India does not have the resources to protect every remote village, so they provided training and firearms to each Village Defense Committee (VDC). "At least 450 such VDCs are now functional in Jammu and Kashmir." The militia in action.

The formation of the 1st all women's VDC arose from a tragedy.
To avenge [the 2003 killings of militants], a Lashkar group in April 2004 attacked Kulali village and killed 14 women and children while the men were out on an operation.

Later, in June 2004, the militants executed another attack, which was repulsed by a woman, Khatoon Begum, who had learned to use a 303 Rifle from her son. Although she died in the attack her act helped save at least a dozen members of her family from Islamic guerrillas.

"Khatoon Begum's daring act lead to the foundation of all Muslim women VDC. We were supported by our husbands and fathers and thus trained ourselves in the operation of 303 rifles, SLRs, grenade throwing and other military aspects of how to react and repulse a militant attack", stated another women fighter, Shahnaz.
I wonder what the gun-grabbing left has to say about this. Do these women have the right to defend themselves against rape? Do they have the right to protect the stores of food they and their families need to survive? Or should they "retreat" or "give the criminal what he wants," they way so many are advised? [h/t KABA]

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