SRINAGAR: A civil society group, which claims to represent the girl who is at the centre of the Handwara molestation storm, today said its lawyers met her and claimed that she was under "illegal police detention".
"The meeting was today held between the minor girl, her parents and advocate Parvez Imroz and advocate Kartik Murukutla at Handwara," said a spokesman of the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS), a civil society group which represents the girl and her family.
He said the girl and her father were brought from an "undisclosed location" - almost five kms away from the place where the actual meeting was held in Zachaldara.
"Two police personnel were stationed outside throughout to ensure that no one else was allowed inside The minor girl and her family had a detailed two-hour meeting with their lawyers.
"The family confirmed that they were being held in police custody against their will, and seek urgent relief from the High Court to have them released from the custody and be allowed to reside at a place at their choice where they can continue their legal struggle," the spokesman said.
The girl's allegation that she had been molested had triggered a week-long unrest in Handwara and several other places of Kashmir, resulting in the death of five civilians.
The spokesman said the Jammu and Kashmir police have through their "conduct" today confirmed that the girl "is in police custody and is under severe restrictions and surveillance and her movement, and those wishing to meet her, are regulated by the police".
"This contradicts with the status report filed by the government before the High Court that the minor girl and family have requested police protection and are not confined or detained in any way," he said.
"She informed the lawyers that once she is out of the police detention, she would struggle for justice and expose the lies of the State and those who have been maligning her image," the spokesman claimed.
Yesterday, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court referred the petition filed by the mother of the girl to the Division Bench of the High Court and fixed the next date of hearing on April 26.
The court also directed the Superintendent of Police, Handwara, Ghulam Jeelani Wani to facilitate the meeting between the minor girl and her mother and lawyer.