Opposition National Conference (NC) on Monday demanded judicial probe into the Handwara incident of alleged molestation in the wake of the purported victim’s allegation that police had “pressurised” her to give a clean chit to an army man.
“The girl said she was abused by the policemen, one of whom spat on her. Her statement now, her video statement (earlier), the army’s statement (earlier), the police statement and the statement in the court, all this has become a mixture and no one knows anything,” NC general secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar told reporters at party headquarters.
“That is why NC had and is demanding a judicial probe to clear the air and present the reality,” he added.
His demand came after a veil-wearing girl, presented by an NGO as the one who was at the centre of Handwara protests of last month, claimed that police had “pressurised” her to make a statement before a magistrate in which she exonerated an army man of molestation charges.
Handwara town and adjoining areas of Kupwara district of Kashmir had erupted last month after allegations that a 16-year-old girl had been molested by an army man.
Later, in a video-recorded “statement” released by police and a statement to a magistrate, the girl had said no soldier was involved in any molestation and had blamed a local boy for misbehaving with her.
NC MLA from Habbakadal constituency of Srinagar Shameema Firdous criticized the silence of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on the issue.
“The State Women’s Commission said it has taken up the matter with the Chief Minister, but it is unfortunate that she herself has not spoken on this. She should say what actually happened with the girl so that people get to know about it,” Shameema said.
Sagar said his party would raise the issues of “weakening” of the state’s special status and plans to set up colonies for Kashmiri Pandits besides other matters in the upcoming session of the Assembly.
“We will raise the issue of National Food Security Act, Sainik Colony issue, new Industrial Policy and establishment of separate ghettos for Kashmiri Pandits, in the assembly. We will raise the issue of weakening of Article 370 and the special status of the state, he said.