Srinagar: Former Chairperson Jammu and Kashmir Commission for Women and Child Rights, Vasundhra Pathak Masoodi on Wednesday expressed displeasure over growing number of domestic violence cases in Jammu and Kashmir amid Covid-19 lockdown.
Pathak, who headed the Commission before it was winded it up following abrogation of Article 370 and 35A, said that she was getting frequent calls from women in Kashmir complaining about abuse in one way or the other, amid the lockdown.
“Sadly, such women fail to register their complaints and continue to suffer silently due to the lockdown,” she said expressing displeasure over the inability of women to register cases and seek justice due to lockdown.
“I try to console them and sympathise with them over phone. It helps them a little as they feel someone is there to listen to them. But this apparently indicates a rise in domestic violence cases in Kashmir,” she added.
She hoped that the authorities will take steps to reach out to the women subjected to abuse.
Vasundhara however expressed satisfaction over recent order on capping of school bags weight and no homework upto 2nd class in Valley.
Notably, the Commission in October last year had strongly recommended capping on heavy weight school bags and homework, while observing that school bags were taking a toll on physical and mental health of minor children and the issue needed to be addressed immediately.
The Commission had also recommended that children should not be asked to carry any extra material or additional books to school for whatsoever purpose.
Besides a series of necessary measures for safety and health of school children, the Commission had recommended mandatory health clinics particularly in all government schools and availability of clean potable water.
JK High Court takes cognizance
Last week, Jammu and Kashmir High Court took Suo motto cognizance of the growing incidents of domestic violence on women and girls amid the lockdown.
The court directed all the courts in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh to consider the incidents of domestic violence as necessary. It appointed advocate Monica Kohli as amicus curiae in the case.
Chief Justice Geeta Mittal and Judge Rajneesh Oswal heard the case through video conferencing, according to local media reports.
The court said that due to the Coronavirus pandemic in the world, the socio-economic condition of women and children has been affected.
The High Court issued a notice to the Secretary of the Social Welfare Department of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh and the Member Secretary of the Jammu and Kashmir State Legal Services Authority asking them to report on domestic or other violence against women during to lockdown.