HC to cops: Declare law under which girl, father has been detained
Srinagar,April 16: The High Court on Saturday directed the police to declare the law under which a girl, who was allegedly molested by army personnel in north Kashmir’s Handwara area on Tuesday, has been detained along with her father and aunt.
Hearing a petition filed by the mother of the 16-year-old girl, a single bench of the court compsring Justice M H Attar also directed police not produce the minor girl before print or electronic media.
It also directed the police to present the girl, her father and aunt before the Chief Judicial Magistrate Handwara for recording of statement.
In her petition, through the counsel, the girl’s mother pleaded that her daughter, husband and sister have been kept in illegal detention in violation of the constitutional rights guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.
She also submitted that she apprehends that the life of her minor daughter, husband and sister is in jeopardy. The case has been listed for next hearing onApril 20.
The petitioner claimed that a video was prepared even before the two family members were detained. “It appears that the video was recorded at the Handwara police station presumably on the direction of the SP and the SHO,” she said, adding, that an attempt to damage the reputation of the minor girl, as well harm the fair and independent investigation of the allegation of sexual assault.
“The illegal detention of the minor girl has been done to stall and manipulate the investigation. The police have tried to portray her illegal detention and that of two other family members as protective custody. If at all the protection was warranted, it could be provided at the residence of the girl and not in police custody.”
The petitioner also sought directions to Director General of Police to file an FIR against the SP and the SHO for illegal arrest and carry a fair investigation.
The petitioner also demands investigation into the role of army in “creation and release of the video.”
“District and Sessions Judge Kupwara should be asked to carryout the enquiry into the creation and circulation of video and surrounding circumstances, to be concluded within two weeks,” the petitioner said.
The petitioner also sought directions to investigating officer against the SP and SHO to provide regular stratus report to the court.