This has to be an unimaginably harsh world to live in for these Kashmiri Muslim women. To feel that setting yourself on fire is the only way out is a tragic statement on the structure of this barbaric Islamic society that allows women to suffer chronic abuse at the hands of their husbands. The husband, an alcoholic who abused his wife relentlessly, has been arrested -- but usually in these cases the husbands claim their wives were disrespectful and they are released with no jail time. In the case of this savage, he is now free to marry and abuse another woman.
By Anees Zargar
Succumbing to almost 100 percent burn injuries, another domestic abuse victim was declared dead at Srinagar's Shri Maharaja Hari Singh (SMHS) hospital on Wednesday morning. This is the second such case recorded by the hospital in a week's span where a domestic violence victim died after attempting suicide by self-immolation.
Survived by two children, Manjali had burnt herself alive in her home in Khankah area of the Srinagar city last week in order to escape the domestic violence she regularly faced at the hands of her alcoholic husband Manzoor Ahmad Wanj, an auto driver.
According to initial reports from Maharaj Gunj police station, the victim had received serious burn injuries when her husband allegedly sprinkled kerosene oil on her and set her ablaze following which she was rushed to the hospital for treatment. The victim, however, later denied that her husband was involved.
"Manjali was struggling for her life with almost 100 percent burn injuries after she set herself ablaze last week," Dr Shabir, who heads the hospital's burn ward said.
On Tuesday, iamin had published an elaborate report that covered the increasing incidence of domestic violence victim attemtpting suicide by burning in the valley. Earlier, Shahzada, a 25-year-old woman from South Kashmir's Shopian died in the same ward after receiving more than 95 percent burn injuries on her body. The third victim, who reportedly set herself ablaze due to harassment from her in-laws, is struggling with more than 65 percent burn injuries.
Speaking against the rise of domestic violence in the valley, the head of a Muslim body and Chairman All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC), Mirwaiz Umar Farooq expressed concerns over increasing cases of domestic violence. "People especially elders must play a positive role in stopping domestic violence against women," appealed Farooq, who is also the head priest of Srinagar's central mosque Jama Masjid.
Meanwhile, Srinagar police has registered a case against Manjali's husband under section 307/RPC in police station M R Gunj.