SIT Conducts Spot Test; Sample Sent To Forensic Lab22 July 2011
Gujjardara (Kulgam): The Special Investigation Team, constituted by police to investigate allegations of gang rape of a woman by army men at Gujjardara, Kulgam, Friday took the victim for spot identification. Besides, the doctors have also carried medical examination of Rukaya Bano, including collection of the vaginal smears, which would be sent for forensic examination by the SIT. Meanwhile, Rukaya and his family members stuck to earlier version that she was raped by two army men. After registration of the FIR at Police Station Damhal Hanjipora on Thursday, the SIT Friday evening took the woman to District Hospital Kulgam where a team of doctors, headed by Chief Medical Officer, carried out the medical examination of the woman. After carrying out different gynecological and other tests, her vaginal smears were collected. “These tests were carried out by the CMO and his team. Besides, we also collected the vaginal smears, which were sealed in the presence of a magistrate and we hope to send them for forensic examination today,” Additional SP and SIT in-charge Mohammad Shafi Mir told Rising Kashmir. On Friday morning, she was taken for spot identification by the SIT party led by a DSP rank officer Zulfiqar into the Chiranbal forest Behak , where according to police officers, she identified the spot where she claimed to have been kept by army men after her abduction. Besides collecting circumstantial evidence and forming a detailed map of the crime scene, the SIT team also seized pair of clothes Rukaya was wearing the day she went missing. The Police team also videographed the spots, which were identified by her in Chiranbal forests. After bringing her back to her home at Gujjardara Friday afternoon, police confined Rukaya to a room in the house and did not allow media to talk to her. Outside, the armed policemen kept a tight vigil around her house, allowing nobody to enter the house without their permission. Meanwhile, according to sources, the SIT officials are not convinced of the woman’s charges. “After carrying the spot examination, there seems to be no correlation between her claims and the spot she identified,” sources quoted SIT officials saying. Family Version: The victim’s husband Mohammad Latif Bhat told Rising Kashmir that his wife stands by her statement that she was raped by army men. 'I have been staying in the Chiranbal forest dhok (shack) for about 45 days now along with my wife and my 80-year-old mother Amina. On Wednesday (July 20) morning Rukaya went for ablution to a nearby spring. However, when she did not turn up after some time, we started searching for her. I along with four other persons went searching for her in the forests but we could not find her,” her husband Latif told Rising Kashmir. 'However, next day (Thursday morning) at around eight in the morning, two persons located her in unconscious state near a stream in the forests. They brought her to the shack. As I was still searching for her, I was later informed that she has been found.” Asked if she still maintains her earlier version given to police that she was allegedly raped by two army men, Latif said, “When I talked to her in private, she said she was abducted and raped by two army men. She told me that they talked in a language which she could not understand. Besides, she told me that they (the abductors) also talked in Urdu.” When asked about the allegation that her wife changed statements, he added, “Why should she tell lies. She must have uttered those names (name of a civilian, Shabir) under duress. But she still maintains that she was raped by two army men. We want justice. The victims should be identified and punished.” Latif’s cousin Bashir Ahmad Bhat, who accompanied Rukaya to the police station and later to the hospital, maintains that she told police in clear terms that she was gang raped by two army men in the forests after abducting her. “She told police that two army persons kidnapped her and took her away along with them into the forests before raping her. Though she took some names of civilians but that must have been under duress,” Bashir said. Gulzar Ahmad, the Sarpanch of the village, said he also accompanied Rukaya to the police station and is a witness to her statement. “In her final statement, which was also considered by police, she said she was raped by the army men.” Protests: Meanwhile, the situation in South Kashmir including Kulgam district remained tense on Friday against the alleged gang rape. Manzgam and the adjoining villages observed shutdown with daylong protests against the incident. Protesters clashed with police and CRPF men deployed in strength in Manzgam and adjoining areas. In Manzgam, protestors torched an official vehicle belonging to Tehsildar of Damhal Hanjopora, besides setting a motorcycle on fire. The local residents alleged that troopers went berserk beating several people besides ransacking several shops in Manzgam. Police fired dozens of tear smoke canisters to disperse the demonstrators, who also hurled rocks and brickbats on the troopers. The locals alleged CRPF personnel smashed windscreens of the parked vehicles and windowpanes of houses. Shouting pro-freedom and anti-India slogans, the protestors were demanding early identification of the troopers alleged to have gang raped Rukaya.