“They found five litres of semen inside Neelofar’s body while conducting her postmortem.” The boy who says this is about 16 and lives in Kulgam in South Kashmir. He says he was told this at a ‘conference’ in his village recently. The teenager is convinced of this ludicrous claim about Neelofar Jan, one of the two women found dead in a rivulet in Shopian in South Kashmir in May 2009. After allegations of their rape and subsequent murder by security forces spread thick and fast that summer, there was widespread unrest in the state. In the din raised by the separatist machinery, the truth did not seem to matter at all. The probability of the two women having drowned was rejected. It did not matter that from 1995 to 2008, ten other people had drowned in the same rivulet (from 2010 to 13, three more did). It did not matter that on orders of the then Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, a police officer tried to make a horse cross the rivulet from the same spot, but was unable to: the animal was too afraid to try. It did not matter that an independent team of doctors from Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) performed a second autopsy on the two bodies and ruled out rape, establishing their death as asphyxia as a result of ante-mortem drowning. Later, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed a chargesheet against six Kashmiri doctors and others, including the brother of one of the deceased, for fabricating evidence. One of the doctors, the CBI found, had fudged the vaginal swab samples to falsely show that the women were raped.

http://www.openthemagazine.com/article/cover-story/who-lost-kashmir?curator=alphaideas&utm_source=alphaideas

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