Mother of Handwara girl approaches high court over ‘confinement’

Srinagar: The mother of the young girl who was allegedly molested by an army man in Handwara approached the Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Saturday alleging that her daughter was being held by the police in “unlawful confinement”.

The mother also told the court, and later the media, that the video statement by her daughter after the incident of alleged molestation on Tuesday was made under coercion.

In the video clip, circulated by the army, the girl has claimed that some local men had misbehaved with her. The clip went viral on the social media.

The high court on Saturday directed the state police not to record any statement by the girl till April 20, when her statement would be recorded before the Chief Judicial Magistrate of Kupwara.

Earlier in the day, the mother alleged she was barred from holding a press conference here organised by a civil society group.

Later, speaking to news channels, the mother claimed her daughter was molested by an army man who tried to enter the public toilet when she was there on Tuesday.

The alleged molestation, which the army has denied, has led to violent Valley-wide protests and the death of five civilians in firing by security forces.

The girl and her father are in “preventive custody” of the state police.

Mobile internet service in the Valley has been suspended since the past two days, and restrictions have been imposed in major parts of the valley.

Separatist leaders, including Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik, have given a call for a Valley-wide shutdown.