Victim in alleged Handwara molestation reveals she was not molested at all and not by any army personnel. Army says it was a conspiracy to malign their image. Jammu and Kashmir government begins investigation. An assistant sub inspector suspended.
Handwara and parts of Srinagar are under curfew after three people had lost their lives in firing by security forces. The incident took place yesterday after reports surfaced that some army personnel had allegedly molested a girl returning from school.
The army released a video to show they were not involved with the incident at all and rumours were spread to malign them.
The girl, the victim, in the video is saying that she was not assaulted by any army person, but by a boy in her school.
She says the young man slapped her first and then gathered people around, provoking them to blame the army, leading to the deteriorating atmosphere.
Investigations have so far revealed it was an attempt by some miscreants to disturb the peace.
Army has said that even though they had nothing to do with the incident, a deliberate attempt was being made to tarnish their image.
As allegations that the girl had been molested by an army man circulated, protests broke out in Handwara, around 70 km from Srinagar.
A crowd of about 500 people threw stones at bunkers, and also tried to burn a post, and security forces were constrained to retaliate to disperse them in which three people were killed.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti raised the incident of firing with Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Wednesday, who assured her that he would look into the matter, and that the guilty would be punished.
Chief Minister announced compensation to the aggrieved families.
Army has ordered a probe into the incident. Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has asked security forces to exercise maximum restraint and adhere to standard operating procedures in dealing with public protests.
Curfew has been imposed in Handwara, and parts of Srinagar to prevent any untoward incident after separatists had called a Bandh.
An army bunker has been removed from Handwara chowk and an assistant sub inspector suspended. The truth will only come out after the investigation is over, but it is clear from the girl’s revelations that the incident was twisted to defame the army.