Kashmir valley’s top hospital registers domestic violence cases, silently | india | Hindustan Times
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Kashmir valley’s top hospital registers domestic violence cases, silently

As the society faces fast degradation in moral values in the wake of unrelenting violence, Kashmir’s premiere Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital (SMHS) on Thursday claimed to have, for the first time, started registering female homicidal burn cases, besides increasing trend of violent mode of committing suicides.

india Updated: May 22, 2014 19:48 IST
Peerzada Ashiq

As the society faces fast degradation in moral values in the wake of unrelenting violence, Kashmir’s premiere Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital (SMHS) on Thursday claimed to have, for the first time, started registering female homicidal burn cases, besides increasing trend of violent mode of committing suicides.


Dr Shabir Iqbal, a professor of plastic surgery at SMHS hospital, while speaking on the topic ‘Management of burns and planning for prevention’, disclosed that the hospital is receiving burn and suicide cases on a daily basis.

“In the past six months, most cases in the Burns Unit of the hospital reflected a growing new trend of homicide. These cases remain unreported with little police intervention to bring the culprits to the book,” said Dr Iqbal.

He claimed Kashmir too has started witnessing bride-burning, wife-burning and daughter-in-law burning cases, which go unreported.

“Two decades ago, the Burns Unit would mainly register accidental and suicide cases. But there is phenomenal increase in burn cases, which apparently looks homicidal cases, given the injuries and the parts of the body, etc,” he added.

Seeking the police help to coalesce data on the emerging trend, Dr Iqbal said, “Unfortunately, in the past two decades, the entire focus has been on blast, bullet and pellet injuries, ignoring violence against women. Many such cases are labelled as suicide.”

Valley’s leading psychiatrist, Dr Arshad Hussain, also pointed out the increasing trend of violent methods of suicide. “The hospital has never registered cases of slit throat and self-immolation in the past,” he said.

Most medical experts at the conference blamed the degradation in moral values for the new trends like bride-burning and self-immolation.

“Society is going towards a very horrible direction. The fresh cases of burns only points out that the society is drifting away from cultural, traditional and religious values,” said Srinagar Government Medical College principal Dr Rafiq Ahmad Pampori, adding, “There is need to introduce moral education at school level to stop the menace.”

Dr Arshad Hussain advocated involvement of mosques to counter the trend of homicidal burn cases. “Unlike the West, we may not be able to set up counsellors at school, society and hospital levels. Since the mosques are traditional institutions in Kashmir, the priests can act as mass counsellors on issues like suicide and homicide of females,” said Dr Hussain.

The police are taken by surprise at the disclosures made by the SMHS hospital.

“We had only one reported bride-burning and one acid-throwing case last year. The way the police handled these cases, it acted as deterrent for others. Our department will work with the SMHS on the fresh data to understand the new trend of homicides in the valley,” said deputy inspector general of police, Central Kashmir, SA Mujtaba.

Passing the buck on the society itself, DIG Mujtaba said, “The society does not provide active participation for prevention of such cases.”

Kashmir is grappling with phenomenal cases of suicide and domestic homicides. From .003 suicide cases per one lakh of population in 80s, the valley registered 17,000 of suicide cases, mainly women victims, in the last two decades. At present, the SMHS claims to register two to three suicide cases every day.

“Time has come for people to educate youngsters about failures too rather than pushing them into the mad race of successes. Religion has to be used as a tool to firm the belief of the hereafter to dissuade such occurrences,” said Dr Hussain.