Kashmir women 'slain over Islamic dress'

By HARBAKSH NANDA   |   Dec. 20, 2002 at 3:20 AM
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NEW DELHI, Dec. 20 (UPI) -- Suspected Islamic rebels killed three young women in India's Kashmir region for not wearing burqas, the head-to-toe veiled dress worn by Muslim women.

The killings came a day after handwritten posters appeared in Rajouri district warning women that they would face consequences for not wearing the veiled dress.

Unidentified gunmen barged into the house of Mohammad Sadiq at Hasyote village in the Thanamandi area and shot dead his 21-year-old daughter, Noureen Kousar.

The attackers then entered house of Khalil Ahmad in the same village and kidnapped his 18-year-old daughter, Tahir Parveen. Her beheaded body was found in jungles hours later.

Another young girl, Shehnaz Akhtar, was also shot in the killing spree, United News of India reported.

Police have confiscated some posters pasted on the walls of two senior secondary schools in Rajouri town on Dec. 16 ordering girl students to wear burqas or face the consequences.

There have been previous cases of Islamic militants in the area ordering women to wear veiled dresses. In one incident some years ago, Islamic rebels threw acid on the face of one girl who didn't comply.

More than a dozen Islamic rebel groups are seeking independence of Kashmir from Indian rule. More than 37,000 people have died in the 13-year-old uprising.

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