SRINAGAR: With Kashmir on the boil over the killing of five civilians in actions taken by security forces in five days, the mother of the girl, whose alleged molestation by an Army man triggered the protests, on Saturday claimed that the police had put pressure on the girl to give a statement denying that she was molested.
The mother of the 16-year-old girl told reporters here that her daughter had gone to a public washroom in Handwara area on April 12 (Tuesday) while returning home from school.
“When she went inside the washroom, an Army man followed her. After seeing him, she screamed and raised an alarm, attracting attention of people in the area and also the shopkeepers,” the girl’s mother said.
She said the youth came to the girl’s rescue and protested against the “act”.
After the incident, youth of the area had staged a demonstration outside the Army camp in Handwara.
The Army had fired on the crowd, after some of the protesters attempted to storm the camp.
In the firing, three persons including a 60-year-old woman and a budding cricketer were killed and five others injured. This had triggered protests across the Valley. Another youth was killed in tear gas shelling by security forces in Dragmulla area of Handwara on April 13 and one more youth died in army firing on April 15 in Natnusa, Kupwara.
The army on April 13 released a video, reportedly shot in police station, in which the girl had stated that she was not molested by the army man as according to her none was present in the washroom. She had accused some youth of misbehavior and inciting trouble.
The girl’s mother said her daughter has been detained by police. “After the incident, she was dragged to the police station. My husband and sister, who went to meet her at the call of police officials, were detained”.
She alleged that the family members were not allowed to meet the girl and she was pressured to give a statement exonerating army.“My daughter is only 16-years-old and anyone can come under pressure in this situation,” she said.Police, however, maintained that the daughter-father duo have been taken in protective custody for their own safety.
Earlier, the girl’s mother approached J&K High Court, seeking release of her daughter, husband and sister from “illegal detention”.
Her counsel Parvaiz Imroz, a rights activist, said Justice M H Attar, after hearing the petition, directed the police to tell under which law they have detained the girl, her father and aunt. The next hearing of the case has been posted to April 20.
HC poser on detention
The girl’s mother has approached the J&K High Court seeking release of her daughter, husband and sister from “illegal detention”. After hearing the plea, Justice M H Attar directed the police to explain under which law they have been detained.