Handwara girl now claims trooper tried to molest her

Case had triggered violence, killing five
Last Updated 16 May 2016, 19:49 IST

The girl from Handwara, whose “molestation” bid sparked violence last month resulting in 5 deaths, on Monday made a U-turn by alleging that she was molested by a trooper.

“On April 12, 2016, I was assaulted by an Army man at a public toilet in Handwara,” the minor girl told a press conference, hosted by a civil liberties group, here. “After I ran out of the bathroom, a crowd gathered.”

Blaming Jammu and Kashmir police, whom she accused of forcing her to give a false statement, the girl claimed, “Police told me not to give my original statement, they said it will be safe for my family. To save their Army man, my image was put at stake.”

“They (police) made me sign blank papers. I can't write in Urdu. They made me write in Urdu and took my signature. Why?” the victim questioned.

The girl, whose identity has been concealed, also alleged police cover-up in the incident and alleged she was harassed by several police officials while remaining under “illegal detention”.

She claimed the video, in which she denied any molestation, was shot by Superintend of Police Handwara, Ghulam Jeelani. “He (SP) shot my video forcibly and after assuring me he won’t circulate it, especially to the media, did exactly that,” the minor alleged.

“The police, especially one named Mohammad Shafi, threatened me not to change my statement before the magistrate to save myself and my family,” she alleged.

The minor girl has written to the Station House Officer, Handwara Police Station, and demanded registration of an FIR against the Army personnel for sexually assaulting her, against the police official for recording her video and circulating it without hiding her identity.

Earlier, the class 12 student, had before the magistrate, stated that two boys, one in a school uniform, “confronted, assaulted and dragged her” as she came out of a public convenience in Handwara square.

(Published 16 May 2016, 19:49 IST)

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