SRINAGAR: Thirty girl students from various city schools, currently on an army-sponsored National Integration Tour, are facing online flak for taking part in the programme.
“See our gals (sic) on army tour… Salute to their parents. Boys of kashmir giving blood and gals (sic) selling blood,” a Facebook user wrote in one of his post. He also posted a group picture of the girls currently on the tour along with another picture of a boy’s funeral.
Another user commented in Kashmiri: “Baya yeli yeman ti gharrr manz mar na kanhh teli tari yeman ti fikri (When one of their own will die, they will understand).”
“There is now no differentiation in Kashmir. Forgive me but we are all same… the leaders, the people, young, old, men, women… the pain is only felt by those whose loved ones have been martyred,” wrote another user.
However, there were some who came out in support of the girls and termed the rants against them as “gender war”.
“So this is a gender war now? If this is a reality, then ask yourself why this has happened? You can’t victimize half of the population, curb on their individual freedoms and then expect their support for the formation of an ‘independent’ Islamic state,” wrote a female Facebook user.
The user who had posted the original post shot back saying while she can support this but majority of Kashmiri people can not tolerate this. “If this was not tour from Army, situation might not be same but its same army who killed innocent boys deliberately here. You know this well. Its not matter of individual freedom but matter of our culture too (sic),” he added.
A senior police official said the incidents of hate messages have not come to their notice yet. “As and when, we come to know of it, whatever action is warranted as per law will be taken,” Inspector General of Police Kashmir S J M Gillani told PTI.
The girls from various higher secondary schools of Srinagar embarked on the educational tour on December 5, ignoring the counsel of radical women’s group Dukhtaran-e- Millat. Dukhtaran chief Asiya Andrabi had warned the parents to desist from sending their female wards on such tours.
“I am not appealing to these parents but warning them to desist from such activities,” she had said. During the 10-day tour, the girls have been to Delhi where they met the President and also visited Parliament.