Handwara unrest: HC questions police on 'detention' of girl, kin; Centre sends more forces, asks J&K govt to ensure no loss of lives

Violent protests rocked north Kashmir Handwara town on Tuesday following alleged molestation of the girl by a soldier.

Handwara unrest: HC questions police on 'detention' of girl, kin; Centre sends more forces, asks J&K govt to ensure no loss of lives

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Saturday directed the police to cite the law under which they have detained the girl, who was allegedly molested by a soldier in Handwara on Tuesday which led to violent protests resulting in the death of five persons.

The mother of the 16-year-old girl, filed a petition before the High Court today seeking release of her daughter and two other relatives from "illegal detention" of police, counsel for petitioner Parvaiz Imroz said.

Besides issuing notice to the state, Justice MH Attar directed the Superintendent of Police Handwara and SHO of the concerned police station to tell the court under which law they have detained the minor girl, her father and aunt since the incident on April 12, Imroz said.

He said the court also directed the police to present the girl before the Chief Judicial Magistrate of Handwara for recording of statement.

"The court has also said that father and aunt of the girl cannot be forced to appear before print or electronic media," Imroz said.

He said the case has been listed for next hearing on April 20.


In her petition, through the counsel, the woman pleaded that her daughter, husband and sister have been kept in illegal detention in violation of the constitutional rights guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.

Imroz also submitted before the court that the petitioner apprehends that the life of her minor daughter, husband and sister is in jeopardy.

Meanwhile, concerned over violence in Jammu and Kashmir in last four days, the Centre today decided to rush 3,600 additional paramilitary personnel to the Valley and asked the state government to ensure that there is no further loss of lives.

The decision to send more forces was taken at a high level meeting here where situation in Jammu and Kashmir was discussed extensively.

Curfew-like restrictions continued for the fourth day in parts of Kashmir following killing of five persons in security forces action during violent protests since Tuesday.

The central government is concerned over the loss of human lives in Jammu and Kashmir, a Home Ministry spokesperson said.

Finance Secretary Ratan P Watal, who is holding the additional charge of Union Home Secretary, chaired the meeting which was attended by senior officials from Intelligence Bureau, Ministry of Defence, Central Armed Police Forces and the Ministry of Home Affairs.

The meeting reviewed the prevailing situation in Kashmir Valley and assessed the requirements of Jammu and Kashmir government to bring the situation under control and ensure no further loss of lives, he said.

It was decided in the meeting to send additional central armed police forces to strengthen the security grid in the Kashmir Valley.

While 12 companies of paramilitary personnel were reaching the state today itself, 24 more companies will reach there by tomorrow. One company of paramilitary comprises of about 100 personnel.

The Home Ministry is in regular touch with senior officials of Jammu and Kashmir and has been monitoring the situation on a regular basis. It has assured full cooperation and support to the state government to bring back normalcy.

Violent protests rocked north Kashmir Handwara town on Tuesday following alleged molestation of the girl by a soldier.

Three persons were killed in security forces firing on protesters that day.

Another youth was killed on Wednesday at Drugmulla during protests against the earlier killings while another youth was killed during similar protests in Nathnusa area of Kupwara yesterday.

The girl, however, denied that she was molested. The Army released a video of her purported statement in this regard.

In a new twist, the mother of the girl today claimed that she was pressurised into giving the video statement.

Whereas, the Army had earlier released the video of the girl’s statement to counter criticism.

The incident and subsequent violence has come a big test for the BJP-PDP alliance government which was recently revived after months of uncertainty.

The latest death of a 17-year-old youth on Friday came a day after chief minister Mehbooba Mufti asked security forces not to harm civilians.

(With Agency inputs)