Indian Women Forced to Wear Burqas

As separatist violence increases in the war-torn region of Kashmir, fundamentalist militants have seized the opportunity to terrorize and persecute women living in the surrounding areas. A relatively unknown militia, known as the Lashkar-e-Jabar, have announced that women in Srinagar must wear a burqa, which covers a woman from head to toe with only a small mesh opening to see through, or be punished. The Laskkar-e-Jabar recently claimed responsibility for acid attacks in Srinagar on women who were not wearing veils. This decree is similar to the restrictions imposed upon women living under Taliban rule in nearby Afghanistan, where the extremist militia has imposed a draconian system of gender apartheid banning women from work and education.


Reuters, 8/19/01

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