The physical and psychic violence of counterinsurgency is written on bodies and space. The frequently used term “human rights violations” carries in itself a deeper truth, pointing to the violation of meaning, body and world. Rape and torture are individual as well as collective wounds. From the gendered violence of counterinsurgency, where men are tortured, killed, and disappeared, and women are raped, molested, humiliated and left alone to fend for their families and themselves, to the large-scale destruction of the environment, the state of siege is a total phenomenon. Yet these convergent forms of violence come to define not the triumph of military domination but the sites of resistance. Thus in 2008, the rape and murder of two young women in Shopian in central Kashmir became the focus of mass protests that returned the Kashmiri struggle for independence to its roots as a mass movement. And in 2009, the environmental destruction represented by a proposal to transfer land to outsiders1 along an aggressively expanding Hindu nationalist pilgrimage at the shrine of Amarnath was challenged and stopped by popular protests. Deforestation due to timber smuggling, carried out with the tacit support of the army, produced devastating floods in Srinagar city in September 2014.
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