Nation Current Affairs 17 Apr 2016 J&K HC directs p ...

J&K HC directs police to cite law under which Handwara victim detained

Published Apr 17, 2016, 12:57 am IST
Updated Apr 17, 2016, 2:55 am IST
The student, her father and aunt were detained though a video showed her saying she was harassed by two local youth.
Handwara witnessed clashes between irate crowds and security forces following alleged molestation of a female student by an Army soldier. (Photo: DC)
 Handwara witnessed clashes between irate crowds and security forces following alleged molestation of a female student by an Army soldier. (Photo: DC)

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has stepped in to know why a 16-year-old Kashmiri girl has been detained by police after her alleged molestation by an Army soldier in north-western Handwara town, an incident that sparked off a chain of violent protests in the Valley earlier this week.

In subsequent firings on protesters by the Army and J&K police in Handwara and elsewhere, five people were killed and a few others injured, pushing the Valley into increasing unrest and escalating violence which have also left dozens of security personnel and protesters injured, eight of them on Saturday.


IGP (Kashmir range) S.J.M. Gillani said that in the past five days 202 security personnel and 27 civilians have been injured in clashes in the Valley.
The court on Saturday directed the police to cite the law under which it has detained the girl.

The student, her father Muham-mad Akbar Ganai and aunt Zeba Begum have been detained even though a video was circulated by the Army showing the girl saying she was harassed by two local youth and that there was no Army jawan present in the public lavatory where she was believed to have been molested on April 12.


Statement given ‘under pressure’
The Valley remained shut for the fourth consecutive day on Saturday whereas Handwara and some neighbouring areas, and also parts of Srinagar, have been under uninterrupted curfew since Wednesday morning or in a security lockdown being enforced  by thousands of police and CRPF personnel. Train services remain suspended and Internet services too have been partially withdrawn.

Fresh protests broke out in various areas, including in Ganderbal and Bandipore districts, and security forces faced difficulties containing these. A mob torched an abandoned police post at Naidkhai in Bandipore and two protesters were injured when police fired pellet guns at Trehgam in Kupwara, reports said.


The Centre on Saturday sent more troops to handle the situation. The Army had said it has not filmed the video. It, however, also said that the Army had verified the authenticity of the video and identity of the girl.

“The video is being released after obscuring the face to protect the identity of the girl keeping in view the sensitivities involved,” defence spokesman Lt. Col. N.N. Joshi had said here.

The video was apparently recorded in a police station and the girl’s family said she has not been allowed to return home since and that, on Wednesday night, her father was called to the Handwara police station.


Later her aunt was also detained. Referring to the video circulated by the Army on Wednesday, Ms Begum said earlier that her daughter had given the statement under pressure.