SRINAGAR: Terming the revelations made by the Handwara girl “as a reflection of the grave crimes of the men-in-uniform against the women in Kashmir”, chairman Hurriyat Conference (G), Syed Ali Geelani, on Tuesday demanded an impartial probe into the incident.
The girl, whose alleged molestation led to a series of protests in which five people were shot dead by the government forces, said on Monday that police forced her into accusing two local boys of molestation to save the “real culprit”, a soldier.
The girl was in police custody for nearly a month until court asked her parents to write on affidavit that she didn’t need security. But before the parents could submit the affidavit, policemen guarding her were withdrawn.
Following her statement, Geelani, in a release issued here, said “some independent investigation commission” should probe into the incident and immediate action should be taken against the involved higher officials of army and police.
“The Indian army has always used rape and molestation of women as a major war weapon in Jammu and Kashmir and it is the responsibility of the United Nations War Crimes Tribunal and the human rights organisations to take serious notice of this situation and come to the rescue of the innocent women of this region,” he said.
He said Kupwara is the most-affected area of the Valley in terms of the rape and molestation of women by the army.
“These kinds of incidents mostly do not come to front due to the social stigma attached with the rape and molestation cases,” he said.
He said impunity granted to the army has made its soldiers “more bold and brave in committing these crimes”.
“They don’t hesitate in doing such acts,” he said, and criticised the state police for their “leading role in covering up the crimes”.
Geelani demanded immediate suspension of SP Handwara and other involved police personnel. “The police in Jammu and Kashmir are playing the role of a personal and private organisation of the Indian army and the pro-Indian politicians,” he said.