The mother of the schoolgirl from Handwara – whose alleged molestation by a security personnel had triggered protests across the Kashmir Valley, has said that her minor daughter was forced by the Jammu and Kashmir Police to give the false statement to deny molestation by a trooper.
“After school, she came out with other girls and went to the bathroom in the market at about 3:30 p.m. When she went inside the bathroom, an Army jawan followed her. When she saw the Army man, she screamed to attract attention of shopkeepers,” the girl’s mother was quoted as saying in a report published in a media channel stated.
She said the shopkeepers and boys who were there could not tolerate the screams of their sister and a crowd assembled.
“She was taken to the police station. The Army man then fled the scene. Meanwhile, the crowd started pelting stones,” she claimed.
“My girl is just 16 years old and was alone in the police station when her statement was recorded. She was pressurised by police to give that statement. They didn’t even cover her face,” her mother also claimed.
Protests erupted in the Valley after allegations spread that a soldier molested a schoolgirl in Handwara town. Following the incident five persons have been killed in the protests that are spreading across Kashmir.
More than 60 people, including 40 securitymen, have also been injured in clashes.
The Army had on April 13 released a video, in which the girl said a local boy grabbed her bag and slapped her when she came out of the washroom. She had denied allegations of molestation at the hands of Army trooper.
The mother of the girl has also claimed that her husband has been illegally detained by the police.
Due to protests, strict curfew is in place in Handwara, the picturesque north Kashmir township. Police and paramilitary forces are deployed in huge numbers.
Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti said that the Handwara and Natnusa incidents have come as a major setback to her government’s efforts in consolidating peace dividends in the state.
The Ministry of Home Affairs has assured full cooperation and support to the Government of J-K to ensure that there is no further loss of lives.