Half Widows of Kashmir





Naseema Begum, a Half Widow

Naseema Begum, a half widow, whose husband Mehraj-u-din Dar, was picked up by army men on April 19, 1997, from his home in Tengpora, Srinagar .

According to the conservative estimates, there are around 8,000-10,000 cases of involuntary and enforced disappearances in Kashmir mainly attributed to be the work of Indian security establishments since the onset of militancy.

The disappearances which continued unabated during 1990s created a sub group of widows who were called ‘Half widows,’ a term for women who did not know whether their husbands were dead or alive.

Like forced disappearances, the numbers of half widows too remain unconfirmed. While the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JCCS) puts the figure at around 1,500, others put the number between 2,000 and 2,500.

TwoCircles.net's Raqib Hameed Naik visited the 'half-widows' and filed this three-part report:

Part 1: Armed with pictures that tell a thousand words: The protestors of Srinagar's Pratap Park

Part 2: The half widows of Kashmir: A story of endless wait and hardships

Watch Short Film here: Half Widows of Kashmir

Part 3: Married at 17, ‘Half widowed’ at 18: Safiya Azad continues to wait even after 23 years

Part 3 (2): 19 years and counting: the tale of Naseema Begum’s wait for her missing husband

Part 3 (3): Half-widowed at 23, Rafiqa Mushtaq fights government, in-laws to ensure property rights for her children

Part 3 (4): Picked up from an Army ‘crackdown’, never to return: Dilshada Begum’s 23-year search for her husband continues

Part 3 (5): Shabnum Wani: A Half widow who feels betrayed by both the Government and the Court