Protests erupt over rape charge against Army unit
22 December 2004
Our Special Correspondent
Srinagar: Protests erupted today in Pahalgam against the alleged rape of an elderly woman by the Army. Reports said that troops from the Third Rashtriya Rifles cordoned off the Salar Sheikhpora village in Pahalgam area of Anantnag district during the night of December 20 and 21, entered a house and raped a mother of four, after locking up the other inmates. As news spread, a large number of people took out a procession against the Army personnel. Pahalgam Police have registered a case under Section 116 of 2004 in this connection and a joint civil and army investigation has been ordered. However, a defence spokesman denied the incident. Lt. Col. V. K. Batra told The Hindu that a medical examination of the woman was carried out at the district hospital in Anantnag which negated any rape. A joint inquiry by the police and army had been ordered and if any one was found guilty of any wrongdoing, he would be dealt with according to established law. This is the third charge of rape against Army personnel in Kashmir in two months.