Seema Kazi


This article focuses on rape by security forces in the Indian-administered state of Jammu and Kashmir and the question of accountability and justice for sexual crimes committed by State forces in the Kashmir Valley. Moving beyond the violence against women' frame, the instrumental use of rape by security forces as a cultural, political and psychological weapon of war is highlighted, as is the denial of institutional justice for the same. The suggestion here is that the question of justice for sexual crimes by state forces in Kashmir must be situated within the overarching context of the abuse of power by executive and military authority, and the unquestioned subversion of local civil and judicial authority. This particular institutional setting and policy it is further argued, justifies the case for international legal intervention in Kashmir. The Indian state's claim to jurisdiction over the territory of Kashmir is assessed with reference to international law; the universality of the legal principle of self-determination is emphasised, as is the salience of international law regarding sexual crimes by state forces. Drawing upon Kashmir's international legal dimensions in general and its legacy of rape by security forces in particular, the article concludes by advancing a single moral argument for Kashmiri self-determination.

Custom Citation

Seema Kazi, 'Rape, Impunity and Justice in Kashmir' (2014) 10(1) Socio Legal Review 14.

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