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25,000 women are in prostitution in Srinagar alone: Justice Kirmani
l 'Govt agencies pay cellphone bills of 8,000 women in Kashmir'
7/17/2011 11:47:54 PM
Ahmed Ali Fayyaz
SRINAGAR, July 17: In the statistics, which can be strongly disputed in absence of an empirical survey, a retired judge of Jammu & Kashmir High Court has claimed that as many as 25,000 women were currently in prostitution in Srinagar alone where the residents, according to him, had been consuming 25,000 bottles of liquor every day. He has claimed that the people in Valley were spending Rs 3 Crore every day on liquor and narcotics.
Addressing a literary gathering on occasion of the death anniversary of Kashmiri poet, Ali Mohammad Shahbaz, at Town Hall in Handwara, Justice (retired) Bashir Ahmed Kirmani claimed that Kashmir valley, particularly the capital city of Srinagar, had become a hub of social evil during two-decade long armed conflict and separatist movement. Kirmani, who took suo moto cognizance of certain news reports, turned them into a PIL, heard and monitored CBI investigation into the infamous Srinagar Sex Scandal in 2006-08, claimed that more than 25,000 women had landed into the vice of prostitution in the capital city alone.
According to Kirmani, selling of liquor like hot cakes on Boulevard and Sonwar Road had led to daily traffic jams as residents in the capital city were consuming 25,000 bottles of liquor every day. He said that people were making "wasteful expenditure" of Rs 8 Cr which could be saved and utilized on socio-economic support to the destitute and other genuine activities. That, according to him, included expenditure of Rs 2 Cr on liquor, Rs 1 Cr on drugs and narcotic substances, Rs 1 Cr on mutton and chicken and Rs 1.5 Cr on fuel of vehicles and Rs 1 Cr on cellphone usage. He claimed that different government agencies were footing the cellphone bills of as many as 8,000 Kashmiri women every month.
Kirmani said that promiscuity in public schools had assumed menacing proportions, particularly in the capital city. Men and women in the state and non-state establishment were mainly responsible for this menacing growth of the social evil as they were themselves neck-deep in it. He beseeched intelligentsia to discharge its greater responsibility and eliminate the phenomenal social evil. Consequences, he said, would be horrible in case a strong will and effective mechanism were not put in place to checkmate the social evil.
Much on the line of radical separatist leaders like Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Asiya Andrabi, Kirmani gave his figures without referring to any credible, or even disputed, survey. After being averse to reference to negative impacts of the gun culture in the Valley for nearly two decades, Geelani and Andrabi have been quoting similar imaginative figures since 2008, while holding Police, "occupying forces" and the "Indian intelligence agencies" responsible for "promoting promiscuity" in Kashmir. Interestingly, a retired judge of J&K High Court has also begun to project the same street statistics.
While expressing serious concern over the prostitution, flesh trade and promiscuity, Justice Kirmani that the social evil was growing in the Valley at an alarming pace. He said that the traditional value systems had crumbled and the civil society had been rendered defunct due to the gun culture. The clergy, according to him, had a major role in preventing and eliminating the social evil but it had become irrelevant and inefficacious due to lack of camaraderie. The clergymen, he pointed out, had been fighting each other over trivial issues and pursuing individual interests.
According to him, intelligentsia and the civil society, alongwith clergy, had to assert themselves forcefully against the social evil and checkmate it effectively.
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