Handwara incident: Family says girl pressurised into giving statement

Srinagar: The family of the girl, whose alleged harassment led to a spate of violence in Kashmir, today claimed that she was pressurised into giving a video statement denying she was molested and has approached court seeking an independent probe into the incident.

“My girl is just 16 years old and was alone in the police station when her statement was recorded. She was pressurised by police to give that statement,” her mother claimed.

A civil society group scheduled a press conference here for the family but it was not allowed by police.

Talking to reporters, the girl’s mother alleged that police detained her daughter without informing the family and revealed her identity by recoding the video statement without covering her face.

She said, “When the girl was returning home after school on Tuesday, she went to a bathroom and was followed by an army man. When she saw the army man in the bathroom, she raised an alarm, attracting attention of the nearby shopkeepers. The policemen also came to the scene but the army man fled.”

“She was then taken to a police station without our knowledge,” the mother said.

“We have approached court and demanded an independent inquiry into the incident. We do not want police or Army, those who have done this, to inquire it,” she said.

Five persons have been killed since Tuesday after violence broke out following allegations that the girl was harassed by a soldier.

“Were not allowed to meet our girl. Her father and aunt were also detained. We do not have any information of our arrested daughter for the last five days,” she alleged and accused the police of “defaming” her daughter by revealing her identity to the media.