Handwara incident: Mother says girl pressured into giving statementhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/handwara-incident-mother-says-girl-pressurised-into-giving-statement-2756306/

Handwara incident: Mother says girl pressured into giving statement

"My girl is just 16 years old and was alone in the police station when her statement was recorded. She was pressurised by police to give that statement," her mother claimed.

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Protests in Srinagar on Friday against the killing of four persons over the Handwara incident. (PTI Photo)

The family of the girl, whose alleged harassment led to a spate of violence in Kashmir, on Saturday claimed that she was pressurised into giving a video statement denying she was molested and has approached court seeking an independent probe into the incident.

READ | Handwara killings: HC queries J&K police on ‘detention’ of girl, kin

“My girl is just 16 years old and was alone in the police station when her statement was recorded. She was pressurised by police to give that statement,” her mother claimed. A civil society group scheduled a press conference in Srinagar for the family but it was not allowed by police.

Police use tear gas shell during clashes in Baramulla over attacks on students in Kupwara district. (Source: Express photo by Shuaib Masoodi)
Police use tear gas shell during clashes in Baramulla over attacks on students in Kupwara district. (Source: Express photo by Shuaib Masoodi)

Talking to reporters, the girl’s mother alleged that police detained her daughter without informing the family and revealed her identity by recoding the video statement without covering her face.

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She said, “When the girl was returning home after school on Tuesday, she went to a bathroom and was followed by an army man. When she saw the army man in the bathroom, she raised an alarm, attracting attention of the nearby shopkeepers. The policemen also came to the scene but the army man fled.”

People protest in Handwara. (Source: Express photo by Shuaib Masoodi)
People protest in Handwara. (Source: Express photo by Shuaib Masoodi)

“She was then taken to a police station without our knowledge,” the mother said. “We have approached court and demanded an independent inquiry into the incident. We do not want police or Army, those who have done this, to inquire it,” she said.

READ | Handwara fallout: CM visits victims’ families as tension prevails in Kashmir

Five persons have been killed since Tuesday after violence broke out following allegations that the girl was harassed by a soldier.

Army banker in Handwara chowk. (Source: Express photo by Shuaib Masoodi)
Army banker in Handwara chowk. (Source: Express photo by Shuaib Masoodi)

“Were not allowed to meet our girl. Her father and aunt were also detained. We do not have any information of our arrested daughter for the last five days,” she alleged and accused the police of “defaming” her daughter by revealing her identity to the media.

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