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J&K woman alleges rape by army men, probe ordered

Army ordered a probe into allegations that its soldiers had raped a woman in Kulgam district, but her medical examination showed no signs of violence which prima facie indicates that she may not have been sexually assaulted.



Srinagar: Army on Friday ordered a probe into
allegations that its soldiers had raped a woman in Kulgam
district, but her medical examination showed no signs of
violence which prima facie indicates that she may not have
been sexually assaulted.

Both the Army and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said that
strict action would be taken if the allegation of Ruqaya Bano,
a 32-year-old woman from Gujjarpatti Manzpora in Kulgam -- 80
kms from here, was proven.
However, late in the evening, highly-placed sources said
that clinical examination of the woman showed presence of dead
sperms. Average life of a sperm is 72 hours and it was
indicative that the sexual assualt had not taken place.

The woman had yesterday lodged a police complaint
accusing unidentified army personnel of abducting her on July
19 and being subjected to gang rape before being left off on
July 21.

The state government was treading cautiously and had
sent her vaginal swab for forensic tests.

The incident generated political heat with opposition
PDP president Mehbooba Mufti rushing to the scene and
demanding stern action against the culprits.

Immediately after her departure, people gathered in the
streets and indulged in stone pelting and also burnt down down
a government jeep and a motorcyle.

The Chief Minister said an identification parade of
soldiers from the army unit stationed there could be held.
"Size of army unit in area is less than 20 strong so
identification parade won`t be a problem. Guilty won`t be
spared either AFSPA or no AFSPA," Omar said on micro-blogging
website Twitter.

The Army, on its part, also announced a Court of
Inquiry to probe the charges but maintained that the
allegations can be an instigation to defame the force.

"If there is any truth in the allegation, then it is a
criminal act against which strict action must be taken. Army
is cooperating in the police investigation and we have
launched a separate probe of our own," General Officer
Commanding of the Army`s 15 Corps Lt Gen Hasnain told
reporters here.

Hasnain said it was "impossible" that two soldiers will
remain detached from their company for 48 hours, without
anyone in the command not being informed about it.

Police has registered a case under sections 366 and 377
RPC and constituted a special investigation team to probe the
allegations.

The Government rushed its senior minister Sakina Itoo
to the spot. The minister accused Mehbooba Mufti of trying to
whip up passion among people over the alleged rape of a woman
by army personnel in Kulgam district.

PTI

From Zee News

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