May 2016 News

Handwara Girl, Parents Free To Go Wherever They Want: High Court

12 May 2016
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
Ishfaq Tantry

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court today ruled that the Handwara girl, who is at the centre of a controversy involving an allegation of molestation, and her family shall be free to go wherever they want. The court, however, termed the contentions of the illegal detention or confinement, as was alleged by her parents in their affidavits, as 'unjustified and uncalled for'. This was observed today by a division bench of the High Court in its orders in the writ petition by Taja Begum, mother of the minor girl, alleging that her daughter and husband were taken into illegal custody and forced to make statements under duress. 'Be as it may be. The petitioner (Taja) and her husband feel that there is no threat perception to them as well as to the girl as is clear from their applications and affidavits. Mohammad Akbar Ganai (father of the girl), who had sought protection, has now filed an affidavit and the mother has also filed an affidavit, deposing therein that they want to move freely. It being so, they along with their daughter and her aunt shall be free to go wherever they want,' said a division bench of Justices Mohammad Yaqoob Mir and Ali Mohammad Magrey in its detailed orders today. Contrary to the claims by the minor girl's parents about 'wrongful confinement' of her daughter and father by the J&K Police since April 12, the High Court in its order added that 'no question of illegal detention or confinement arises'. 'Such contention is unjustified and uncalled for,' the court said, adding that the petition by Taja Begum on the basis of the prayer as made in the petition does not survive. Referring to the response by the government, the High court said the police had never detained the girl and her father and were placed at a protected place at the instance of the father. The court also quoted the report of the Station House Officer, Handwara, that in view of incidents at Handwara, the girl had a life threat.