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'Veiled' moral policing in J&K
Mukhtar Ahmad In Srinagar | August 31, 2005 00:56 IST
Concerned with what it said was the "growing flesh trade" in the valley, women's separatist group Dukhtarani Millat has stepped in to do the "moral policing" and "eradicate the menace".
The Dukhtarani Millat (Daughters of Faith) on Tuesday claimed to have formed "Mariam Squads," calling on the public in general to inform the outfit about any "redlight activity" in their area and also gave phone numbers for the purpose.
"We have given our phone numbers and received a number of calls from various localities asking the squad members to raid the houses where such clandestine activities were going on," Aasiya Andrabi told local journalists.
"The squad raided a house in Sonwar locality in city uptown. The male members fled from the spot while the women present there admitted their involvement in immoral activities."
"The squad members later raided some restaurants in city. There were teenaged boys and girls and the squad members took their phone numbers. We will talk to their parents later."
Dukhtaran-e-Milat, had earlier started a campaign against obscenity and for observance of Islamic dress code in Kashmir in 1990.
Besides obliterating posters depicting women in bad taste, the outfit banned beauty parlours where local females went for getting themselves a facelift.
The Dukhtaran diktat in fact assumed significance as more and more local women attired themselves in the specified dresses. After a few years the Dukhtaran grip on local women loosened and they latter once again started moving out without burka.
"We will continue our campaign against the immoral activities and against those who provide shelter for such activities," said Andrabi.