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Survivor's Testimony


Mumtaz

Mumtaz lost her husband, Mohammed Azad Khan Shekhar,a lecturer by profession in the hands of a combined team of Assam Rifles and the Manipur Police Commandos of Imphal East on 7 March 2009. Her husband was accused of being the advisor of a Muslim Underground Organization.Mumtaz was left with five growing children: a son and four daughters.

Mumtaz said that she had to run from pillar to post to justify that her husband was not involved in any of the organization but she was not succeed. Through all those years of moving, running, shuttling back and forth, struggling against poverty and slaving to keep her children in school, Mumtaz had managed to continue to raise her children. She stood her ground and they gave her the strength to go on. The Indian government does not extend financial support to widows and children of men branded by the state as rebels or terrorists. As a young Muslim widow, she hardly managed to get out of the house too during her days of trial.

Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network heard of Mumtaz's case in 2011 and currently supported and cared by the network. The Network opened her bank account and gave support to do weaving, knitting, embroidery work and do agricultural work to meet the basic needs. The Network also is supporting Mumtaz fight for her case by involving a team of women lawyers. Besides, she is working along with the Network's Health Team to take care of women gun survivor's health.

At a community meeting of Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network held in Imphal, Manipur in November 2011, Mumtaz told the gathering,"I too wish to contest local elections one day so that I can help many women like myself".



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