HC says Handwara girl, family free to go anywhere they want

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HC says Handwara girl, family free to go anywhere they want

Srinagar, May 12 (GNS):  The Jammu and Kashmir high court today said that girl, who was allegedly molested in Handwara last month, and her family was free to go wherever they want.

A division bench of the court comprising Justice Mohammad Yaqoob Mir and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey passed the direction after parents of the girl submitted affidavit that there is no threat perception to them or their daughter.

“It being so, they along with their daughter and her aunt shall be free to go where ever they want,” the court, according to news agency GNS said.

In the affidavits the parents of the minor girl had mentioned that one of them (girl’s father) and their daughter were under the ‘wrongful custody’ of the police and that they have never voluntarily sought any police protection.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson of Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS), which represents family, said that police has again detained the girl and her family.

“Initially on May 10, Police had informed the family of the minor girl that they are free, but yesterday when the minor girl along with her parents reached Srinagar to the office of JKCCS, the police had already started harassing the relatives of the minor girl to ascertain their whereabouts. Subsequently, the police took the minor girl and her family back to Zachaldara, Handwara and re-detained them,” the spokesman said.

He said that after today’s order by the High Court, the police should end “illegal confinement” of the girl and end all overt and covert means of surveillance and restrictions.

Massive protests had been witnessed in Handwara town of north Kashmir on April 12 following allegations that the girl was allegedly molested by an armyman.

Three persons were killed in firing by government forces on protestors on the same day, while two other persons were killed in similar action over the next three days of protests in frontier district.

The girl, in her statement to police as well as before a judicial magistrate, has not mentioned anything about molestation but named two local youth for harassing her while she had gone to a public lavatory to answer the call of nature.  One of the youth, Hilal Ahmad, has been arrested. (GNS)