April 2016 News

Kashmiri Girl Denies Soldier Molested Her, Claims Local Youth Harassed Her

13 April 2016

Srinagar: A Kashmiri girl who was reportedly molested by a soldier has denied the incident ever happened and has alleged that local boys harassed her and began the riots that led to the death of two young men when the army fired on protesters in Handwara on Tuesday, the Times of India reported. She was quoted saying in a video: 'I went to the (public) washroom and handed my bag to a friend. When I came back, a Kashmiri student heckled me and snatched my bag. The boy in school uniform slapped me and asked 'if there were no boys in the valley' (angrily insinuating that the girl was in a relationship with a soldier). I was shocked and confused about what he had said. Suddenly, several boys gathered. The boy asked me to go to the police station with him. There was a police uncle nearby. I told the boy to return my bag so that I could go to police station with the cop. He said he would not return my bag and started abusing me.' 'There was no soldier there (near or in the washroom). I saw Hilal (an acquaintance). He slapped me and asked me what I was doing there. I asked him how he too could accuse me of any such thing (allegation of an illicit relationship) knowing me and our family. He too started abusing. It seemed that they had conspired in advance. The boy instigated all other boys too to create trouble,' the girls says in the video. Defence spokesman Col Manish Kumar said the the girl's revelations exposed the malicious intent of perpetrators. Terming the Handwara incident as 'highly regrettable', Northern Army Commander Lt General D S Hooda, who visited the area , favoured early completion of probe into the killing of three persons after security personnel opened fired during a violent protest. 'The Army has offered to take care of the expenses for hospital care and subsequent rehabilitation of those injured in the incident,' defence spokesman Lt Colonel N N Joshi said here. 'The Northern Army Commander Lt Gen D S Hooda accompanied by Chinar Corps Commander Lt Gen Satish Dua today visited the Handwara area and interacted with officers and soldiers regarding the incident in which three civilians were killed when protesters tried to storm an Army post,' Joshi said. The General Officer Commanding in Chief of Army's Northern Command termed the incident as 'highly regrettable' and asked for an early completion of the inquiry which has been already ordered, the spokesman said. Army had yesterday ordered an inquiry into the incident while police said a magisterial probe and a departmental inquiry are being conducted. Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday sought from Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar a 'time-bound inquiry' into the Handwara firing, which left a budding cricketer and two others dead. Mehbooba, who is on her maiden visit here after assuming post of Chief Minister, today met Parrikar and Union Minister for Urban Development Venkaiah Naidu separately. In her meeting with Parrikar, she sought a time bound probe saying it will will act as a deterrent against such incidents in future. Describing the firing incident as 'very unfortunate', the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister said, 'I spoke to the Defence Minister. He assured me that a probe will be initiated and the culprits will be punished. 'At the same time the family (of the victims) will be compensated. Such incidents should not happen in the future,' she said after meeting Parrikar.