Saturday, April 16th, 2016

Kashmir unrest: Video statement made under ‘police pressure’ says mother of girl who was ‘molested’

Narada Desk | April 16, 2016 3:42 pm Print

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The mother of the young girl whose alleged molestation by a army soldier sparked off violent protests in Handwara earlier this week alleged on Saturday that a video statement made by the girl was done under “police pressure”.

The girl had in a video after Tuesday’s incident said that some local men had misbehaved with her.

The protests have led to the killing of five civilians in firing by security forces.

Narrating the sequence of events, to NDTV news channel, the mother said: “After school, she came out with other girls and went to the washroom in the market. When she went in, an army jawan emerged… She screamed. The boys who were there could not tolerate the screams of their sister. A crowd assembled. The police and army opened fire.”

“She is under pressure from the police,” she added.

“She is a young girl, just 16 years old,” she said, adding “she has been in custody for five days. We are not allowed to meet her.”

The police have said the girl and her father are in “preventive custody”.

The girl’s mother and uncle were supposed to address the media here earlier in the day, but were denied permission.

Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday visited curfew-bound Handwara town to take stock of the situation even as the central government has decided to send more paramilitary forces to the state – on the boil for four days over civilian killings by security forces.

Mehbooba Mufti was accompanied by state Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh, Chief Secretary B.R. Sharma and Director General of Police (DGP) K. Rajendra Kumar. She met relatives of the youths killed on Tuesday in the security force firing in Handwara.

Five civilians have been killed in five-day long violence in north Kashmir Kupwara district since Tuesday in security force firing.

Her visit to Handwara comes as restrictions imposed by authorities and the protest shutdown called by separatists continued in Srinagar for the fourth day.

The chief minister, meeting with relatives of the killed youths, expressed condolences and asserted that the state government would ensure that anybody found guilty of having violated the standard operating procedure (SOP) during Tuesday’s incident would face the process of law.

“I had wanted to visit Kupwara with a special economic package, but it is unfortunate that I had to come to console the bereaved families,” Mehbooba Mufti said.

She also promised ex gratia relief to the next of kin of the slain youth.

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