May: The Kashmir Sex Scandal
It was a case that shocked the civil society, not just in J&K, but in the entire country. In second week of March, two porn
CDs were made available to the police in downtown Srinagar. Police report stated that "these CDs contained nude scenes of a minor girl from
Habakadal. A Class 8 student, the girl was coerced into prostitution. It turned
out to be a well-organised racket in which 43 young girls were "blackmailed and coerced" to get involved in prostitution and then regularly supplied to several J&K politicians, police and security force officers, businessmen and surrendered militants.
As many as 48 powerful men of Srinagar, including two former ministers and legislators belonging to J&K’s ruling coalition, three Superintendents of Police, seven deputy superintendents of police, a Deputy Inspector General of Border Security Force, 10 local businessmen and several government
officials were involved.
The police report claimed that the kingpin of this prostitution racket was some
one called Sabeena, a resident of downtown Srinagar, and her aid, a surrendered militant.
The news led to shock, outrage and violent protests. All sorts of conspiracy theories were floated. The J&K Bar association passed a resolution denying any legal aid to the accused in the Srinagar sex scandal, forcing the Supreme Court to intervene and order that trial of 14 of the 18 accused
was shifted from Srinagar to Chandigarh. The Chief Justice was furious and scathing in his comments taking the J&K Bar Association to
task for its comments: "It is only in India that despite these comments you are being heard. In no other democracy will it be heard."