25,000 women are in prostitution in
alone: Justice Kirmani Srinagar
‘Govt agencies pay cellphone bills of 8,000 women in
Ahmed Ali Fayyaz
Addressing a literary gathering on occasion of the anniversary of Kashmiri poet, Ali Mohammad Shahbaz, at Town Hall in Handwara today, 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 major traffic jams daily 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 neckdeep in it. He implored 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 p0ut in place to checkmate the social evil.
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 the former High Court judge, intelligentsia and the civil society, alongwith clergy, had to assert themselves forcefully against the social evil and checkmate it effectively.