Afsana Rashid, Indian administered Kashmir

After death of her husband, Hajra Begum’s [name changed] son denied her share in property and inflicted torture on her.

Resident of a village in Ganderbal, Hajra was married to farmer with meager source of income. Out of her father’s financial assistance, he acquired some agricultural land. Toiling hard, couple raised property of 30 kanals [1,632,00 sq ft] of orchards and a house.

Subjecting her to physical and mental torture, Hajra’s son compelled her for second marriage and to give up claim over property. He denied share to his three sisters also on pretext that as per customary law in village widow gets only life interest in property of her husband and daughters married outside village aren’t entitled to inherit.

Those who tried to interfere were humiliated and First Information Report was filed against them under various charges.

Hajra filed a civil suit to get her due. In process, she and her daughters were lodged in police custody on false complaints so as to coerce them to surrender their claim. But this didn’t deter them, their struggle continued till they succeeded.

A year later, Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Personal Law Application Act of 2007 was passed repealing Sri Pratap’s Jammu and Kashmir Consolidation of Laws Act of 1920 A.D [framed to safe guard feudal interest] and section 67 of Jammu and Kashmir Tenancy Act.

Many such cases exist in valley where women toil laboriously to generate property but property is never in her name and her share is never given to her.


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Thank you, Asfana, for this thorough account of Hajra's courageous struggle against injustice. How sad it is that it was her very own son who committed these horrible acts against her in order to prevent her from claiming the land that was lawfully hers.

Thank you for offering Hajra a global voice by which her story can spread awareness about the struggles women in Kashmir face.

In partnership,


Thanks, for your response. Infact there are more such stories. Unfortunately, most of the women here are denied a share in the property despite the fact that their religion offers them the same. Those who fight for the same are generally labelled as "rebels."

I believe that this is the worst form of violence against her. She works laboriously and at the end of the day she has nothing in her name and is at the mercy of male members be it husband, father or son or may be grandson.


Dear Asfana,

Hajra's story is heartbreaking. Thank you for opening our eyes to the injustice that women face in your region when it comes to property rights.


Dear Jade,

There are many untold stories in this part of world. There are innumerable form of violences and injustices they face, denial in the property rights is one such. They work hard to earn but when it comes to rights in property mostly it is in the name of husband, father or son.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


Thank you for sharing that story Afsana. It is so sad to realize that property rights is a global issue. In Nigeria, women and female children cannot inherit their husbands and fathers respectively because females are regarded as chattels to be inherited. In 1994 the Nigerian Court of Appeal renders that culture repugnant to natural justice, equity and good conscience, an affront to God since we do not choose to come to this world as male or female, but the culture still persists.

However, i would have loved to read about what land personally means to you through your own eyes, your story.