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Omar apologises for naming rape victims

Under opposition attack, Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah today tendered an unconditional apology for revealing the names of rape victims in the last five years in the state assembly.

india Updated: Oct 01, 2011 01:11 IST
Toufiq Rashid
Toufiq Rashid
Hindustan Times

Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah on Friday apologised on behalf of his government for revealing the names of women raped in the state during the last five years.

''I tender an unconditional apology. There is a deep sense of shame over revealing the names of the victims,'' Abdullah told the state assembly.

The 90 page list, with the names of 1,326 victims, was submitted as a written reply to a question asked by MLC Abdul Majid on Wednesday.

The MLC had asked tehsil wise details of the rape cases in the last five years as well as their current status. He had also asked for steps taken to prevent such occurances.

The list, submitted by deputy secretary to the home department, has in most cases revealed the victim’s identity by giving out her full name, address as well as her parentage.

The ministry is headed by the chief minister and has a minister of state as his deputy.

Identities of the victims have however been protected in the list submitted by districts like Budgam in central Kashmir and all the districts in the Jammu division. The list from the area give the FIR number, accused name as well as the status of the case. Majority of the cases are sub-judice or under investigation.

"Under what circumstances these details have been revealed, I will get back to the house with full details soon."

The issue was raised by opposition leader Mehbooba Mufti, who accused the government of stigmatizing the victims by revealing their identities'' in the assembly. She said it was in contravention of section 228 (A) of the IPC and Supreme Court ruling on the matter.

''This attitude depicts callousness and insensitivity,'' said Mufti.

''The house is the guardian of peoples’ dignity but revealing the identity of the victims so brazenly goes against moral and ethical values and also against law,'' she had said.

CPI-M MLA Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami also supported Mufti on the issue. The CPI(M) had criticised the state government for disclosing the identity of rape victims and termed the move as ''secondary victimisation'' of the women.

Tarigami had also asked the government to apologise to all the rape victims in the House.

''It is not only dissolute and unethical but it means the government has ruined their left over dignity and honour in society. Simply, the government has ruined their lives,'' he had said.

Tarigami had said the government by disclosing the names of rape victims not only has degraded the honour and sanctity of the House but also acted in contempt of the Supreme Court which has categorically banned disclosure of their names even after their death.

The details showed Jammu and Srinagar account for the highest number of rape cases in the state.Jammu had registered 150 cases since 2006 and Srinagar 120 during the same period.

First Published: Sep 30, 2011 11:12 IST