Since the beginning of insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir in the last 17 years, there has been no let-up in terrorists' forcible marriages to young girls.
There are also instances of the terrorists using the girls and then leaving
them at the mercy of the society to lead a life of humiliation and dishonour.
Recently one such heart-rendering incident took place in the mountainous district of Doda in the north of Jammu, when a 24-year-old girl, sacrificed herself yearning for a local terrorist of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen to save her family from being harmed.
The terrorists seem to be concentrating on wealth (through extortion), women (through abduction/rape/coercion) and wine. Not a single day passes without such an incident in the state.
What is astonishing is that the terrorists have no qualms about justifying their act.
In an incident in Doda on December 2, 2006, a young 24-year-old was
forcibly abducted, raped for nearly two months and later when stuck in a cordon, thrown off a cliff to divert the attention of the security forces. The terrorists managed to escape.
Javed Iqbal alias Jeeshan who is a Tensil commander of Hizbul in the district, kept pestering the young, beautiful and educated Shama Begum of Asiri in Doda, the daughter of a forest range officer to give in to his desires.
The girl, however, bravely resisted his advances but finally had to choose between her 'honour' and the family's survival. Eventually, when she realised that the dreaded terrorist was going to execute his threat to eliminate her family, she surrendered to the desires of the terrorist.
The incident met a tragic end when the same terrorist threw her down a cliff leading to her death. He managed to escape the security forces.
Such incidents have seen a perceptible rise in the last few months in Doda. The irony of this incident was further aggravated when one of the spokesperson of the Hizbul cadre from across the border gave a statement that the girl was part of their terrorist outfit and was an active member in their fight for jihad. There was huge public resentment and uproar over the incident.
A section of the population in Doda felt that the girl just sacrificed herself for the sake of her family and the rumours of her being an active member were anything but true. The fact that she was with them for more than a month was not because of her being an active member of Hizbul, but for her family's survival.
But whether Shama Begum was an active member of the terror group or not, the fact that she was forcibly abducted, remains a fact and lays bare all terrorist claims.
That the Hizbul cadre from Pakistan was forced to issue a statement indicated the strong public reaction against such acts of terrorism. With the improving political scenario, one only hopes that terrorists will stop such heinous crimes and allow women to live with the respect and honour as envisaged in the Holy Quran.