Kashmir joins #MeToo storm

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 10/10/2018 2:33:09 PM

KWC puts out list of harassment, allegations against scribes, officers

SRINAGAR, Oct 9: As the #MeToo movement gains momentum in India, the Kashmir Women's Collective has also collated a list of cases ranging "from frivolous chats with absolute disregard to the girl's discomfort, silence or disinterest, to attempts at physical assaults and forceful inappropriate touching".
The collective said that the information is being made public so that other women and girls are made aware that any man – no matter if he is an intellectual, elder, known, relative, friend, teacher – can be an abuser. The aim is also to publicly shame the abusers and "pressurise them and others into behaving more responsibly".
The collective further goes on to say that Kashmir's #MeToo is different because:
-"this can be seen as a mass attack on Kashmiri community by some right-wing Indians which we do not support. No Islamophobia or Kashmir put down, please."
-"It can be seen as an attempt to take away attention from the political movement." The collective said that that is not the purpose at all. "In fact, we are wary that this will be seen from the context of the political affiliation of abusers and molesters. We are not concerned about an abuser's political inclination, family name or beliefs. Abusers come from all spheres of life, even the ones apparently fighting for justice and equality."
The first case mentioned in the list involves Gowher Geelani, a political analyst. 'Anonymous' asked him for help once and after that, he kept sending her weird messages and started to call randomly, making her extremely uncomfortable. Another 'anonymous' person quoted in the list said Gowher kept texting her and asking her to meet.
The next case is that of journalist Sameer Yasir, who was a lecturer at IUST three years ago. The list said that Yasir tried to molest a woman in a gathering. She recounted that it was during the time when Yasir was a teacher at her university, and they were in part of a gathering of about 20 people. They started playing a game of truth or dare and he started asking personal questions, she said while adding that he went to the extent of "accusing her of boarding a car every day with some guy".
Fahad Shah, a journalist, is also part of the list. According to the list, he has been accused of sexual harassment by multiple women.
Hakim Shaukat Ali from the Ministry of Rural Development has also been named in the list. An 'anonymous' person quoted in the list says Ali harassed her "repeatedly and systematically". He would also pass remarks and try to get her alone in a room.
Another case involves Nasir Lone, who is mentioned as a bureaucrat. 'Anonymous' said that he tried to molest her in his office. "He called me to his office. Another official was with me. He sent the other man in the office away. He stood up from his chair and tried to kiss me forcefully," she recounted.



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