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Kashmiri woman then tortured now contests elections

Kashmiri woman then tortured now contests elections

Having suffered the pain, her cause is liberating other Kashmiri women.

Bandipore: A 25 year old woman who says she was humiliated by her husband and in-laws is contesting from Bandipore; her cause -liberating other Kashmiri women from exploitation.

Putting behind her personal tragedy, Gousia Islam walks several kilometers in the border town seeking votes. Gousia says when she cried for justice no one came to her help but now she is determined to fight for the dignity of her fellow sisters.

``There are many girls who have been exploited. My team has compiled a list of the exploiters and we are soon going to hand it over to Governor,” says Gousia.

Bandipore will go for election on November 17, the first of the seven phase polls. This political science student's campaign to end exploitation of women seems to have caught people's attention in this township. Though she is pitted against stalwarts many especially young women are relating to her.

``A woman understands the problems of a fellow woman all the previous MLAs have not helped the village but at least she can understand us,” says a villager.

Gousia has floated a political outfit called Garib Nawaz Party. She does not talk of bijli, pani, sadak but vows to take on the corrupt and smugglers and she is not afraid of militancy.

For years she suffered in silence but she has now pledged to stand up for the voiceless and powerless women of Kashmir.

first published:November 10, 2008, 15:21 IST