Shah Bano Begum refused to take it like all others and has come out to; declare that she was gangraped and identified her regular rapists — militants of the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba.
The Gujjar woman is the first to lodge a police complaint against the militants — something that has happened for the first time in the 20 years of militancy in Jammu and Kashmir. There are many others like her who have suffered or continue to suffer the physical assaults but keep mum for fear of losing their or their dear ones’ lives.
Shah Bano — a resident of Bhaderwah in Doda district — has lodged cases against LeT militants Ashiq Hussain, Ashraf Hussain, Mudasir Ahmad and Abu Aksha. Narrating her tale before TV cameras, she described how the militants entered her house, demanded food, sent her husband Mohammad Shafi out on an errand and then raped her by turn. Her tormentors then threatened to eliminate her family if she disobeyed or reported them.
She said she was pregnant at the time but the militants didn’t spare her ebven when she told them. “They were brutes.” she said.
When Shah Bano heard that two of her tormentors , Imitiaz and Abu Sayeed, had been arrested, she visited the Bhaderwah police station, thrashed the militants, spat on them and abused them.
Doda Senior Superintendent of Police Prabhat Singh has described Shah Bano as a “ profile of courage” who has set an example for all those suffering in silence and fear. He promised full action against the militants and also protection to Shah Bano’s family.