April 2016 News

Handwara Girl Produced Before CJM Under HC Directions

16 April 2016
The Daily Excelsior

Srinagar: Police this evening produced the girl, allegedly molested by a security jawan in Handwara, before the Chief Judicial Magistrate Kupwara in compliance of the orders of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court which were passed earlier in the day. The girl, however, didn't make any mention of molestation by security forces before the CJM Kupwara. A statement issued here by police said that today they produced a girl victim (FIR 130-2016 under Sections 354, 341, 509 RPC of PS Handwara) along with her father before the CJM Kupwara and her statement was recorded. 'In her statement before the Judicial Magistrate she reveals that on 12-04-2-16, after school hours while proceeding to her home along with her friends she entered in a public lavotary near main chowk Handwara for answering the call of nature. As soon as she came out of the lavatory, she was confronted, assaulted and dragged by two boys and her bag was snatched among whom one boy was in school uniform. The production of the girl along with her father before the Learned CJM also complies the order of the High Court', the statement said. Earlier, the State High Court directed the Government to produce the minor girl along with his father and aunt before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, who are in police custody for the last 4 day after the protests rocked the Valley over the alleged molestation of the girl. Justice MH Attar, while taking cognizance of the petition filed by the girl's mother and after hearing petitioner's advocates P Imroz, Kartik Murtukla, N A Ronga and S H Thakur, directed the Government to produce these persons before nearest court of Chief Judicial Magistrate. Court also directed Superintendent of Police Handwara and Station House Officer Handwara to declare law and authority under which these persons have been kept in police custody. Court also directed that the girl should not be produced before media. 'The respondents are further directed not to produce the minor girl, before the Print & Electronic Media people' adding with 'It is further provided that the respondents shall produce these persons before nearest court of Learned Chief Judicial Magistrate or Judicial Magistrate', Justice Attar directed. Court also issued notice to Ministry of Defence, General Officer Commanding 15 Corps Badami Bagh, Commissioner - Secretary Home department, Deputy Commissioner Kupwara, Director General of Police J&K as also to Additional Advocate General and directed them to show cause as to why the case be not admitted. Court further sought status report from the Government by or before April 20 on which date court will hear the case for further consideration. It was submitted before the court that these persons have been kept in illegal detention which is in flagrant violations of Article 21 of the Constitution of the country. It has also been brought to the notice of the court that the authorities including SP and SHO Handwara are hell-bent to force the detenues (minor girl, her father and her aunt) to make some statements before the Print & Electronic Media, which in law is not permissible. The minor girl as alleged by the petitioner (mother of minor) was dragged to the police station following her making the allegation of sexual assault. 'No women police was present at the time of the illegal arrest and detention of the minor girl. Witnesses stated that one Mohammad Shafi of the armed police was the police official who dragged the minor girl to the police station despite her being a complainant in sexual assault case', petitioner read. It is further submitted that around 1 am in the early morning hours of April 13 the family of the girl were called to the Handwara police station and as per the mother of the girl she was unwell and despite summoning from the Police Station her husband, sister and brother went to police station where they were kept in illegal custody except her brother who was allowed to return home. It was also submitted that following the illegal detention of minor girl and other family members, a video was prepared and then released by the armed forces, under the control of Defence Spokesman, Colonel N N Joshi of 15 Corps to which General Officer Commanding 15 corps, Badami Bagh has owned the release and contents of that video. 'This video that was circulated by the Army to media channels and made public is a short interview of the minor girl wherein the minor states that she was not sexually assaulted by the armed forces. It appears that this video was recorded at the Handwara police station presumably on the direction and under the supervision of SP and SHO Handwara', mentioned the petition. It was also submitted that police has denied any role in the making or release of the video as such it is clear that when this video was recorded there was no family member with the minor girl. Petitioner (mother of minor girl) sought direction from the court that her daughter and other relatives who are in police custody be brought before the court immediately. She further prayed that Director General of Police be directed to order for registering of FIR against SP and SHO Handwara for the illegal arrest and detention of here minor daughter and other relatives and speedy and fair investigation be carried out into the matter. 'A writ of Mandamus, directing investigations in the above mentioned FIR to include investigations on the role of the Army, particularly General Officer Commanding 15 corps, Badami Bagh in the creation and release of the video', petitioner further prayed. Earlier in the day, mother of the girl allegedly molested by a security jawan narrated the sequence of events, that let to violence in Handwara on Wednesday. She said: 'After school, she came out with other girls and went to the washroom in the market. When she went in an Army jawan emerged She screamed. The boys who were there could not tolerate the screams of their sister. A crowd assembled. The police and army opened fire.' The girl's mother said that her daughter is under pressure from the police. She is a young girl, just 16 years old and gave the statement under pressure. 'She has been in custody for 5 days. We are not allowed to meet her', she added.