A day after her mother alleged that she was being “pressured” to deny that she had been molested by Armymen, J&K police said that the minor girl at the centre of protests in Handwara told the Chief Judicial Magistrate that she was assaulted by two boys, one in school uniform.
After the J&K High Court directed police to present the girl, whose alleged molestation led to violence and deaths of at least five protesters in the state, police said she deposed before the CJM in Handwara on Saturday evening.
In her deposition, she maintained that she was not molested by Army personnel, police said.
“The girl was produced before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Handwara, and her statement was recorded. She was accompanied by her father,” said a police statement on Sunday.
Releasing the contents of her deposition, police said, “In her statement before the Judicial Magistrate, she (girl) revealed that on 12-04-2016 after school hours while proceeding to her home with her friend, she entered a public lavatory near the main chowk in Handwara for answering the call of nature. As soon as she came out of the lavatory, she was confronted, assaulted and dragged by two boys and her bag was snatched. One of the boys was in school uniform.”
On Saturday, the girl’s mother had accused unidentified “soldiers” of trying to molest her. The mother of the girl also said that her daughter was “pressured” to subsequently deliver a statement on video to police denying the role of Armymen in the incident.
The separatist Hurriyat Conference, meanwhile, questioned the credibility of the girl’s statement before the CJM and said it did not justify the “killing of five civilians”.
”She (girl) and her father were in police custody. You don’t know what happened there. There is no credibility to this statement. Irrespective of the girl’s statement, there is no justification for the killing of five civilians. Now they (police) want to hide the bigger crime of civilian killings in this garb,” said Hurriyat spokesman Ayaz Akbar.
“She (girl) was in police custody and she was brought before the CJM by police…. it could be still a statement given under duress,” said Khurram Parvez, coordinator of Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS), a civil society group that organised the mother’s press conference on Saturday even though permission was denied by police.
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