One held for assault, spreading molestation bid rumor in Handwara; says police

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Srinagar, April 19 (GNS): Police have arrested one of the two persons accused of assaulting and spreading false rumor about the molestation bid of Handwara girl that triggered widespread clashes and resulted in five deaths in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district last week. The arrest comes a day after the Police filed four separate cases including one for “false rumor” about molestation of the girl last week.

A police officer told news agency GNS that they have arrested one among the two accused youth identified as Hilal Ahmed Bandey of Handwara town during a raid last night. “The youth is being questioned and a hunt has been launched to nab the other accused person”.

The officer said that they arrested Bandey, a day after they filed a case in connection with the “false rumor” about the molestation of the girl student following the directions of Chief Judicial Magistrate.

“The girl was produced before the CJM, Handwara on Saturday evening, and her statement was recorded. She was accompanied by her father”.

The girl had also denied the allegation by local people that an army man had tried to molest her.

In her statement before the Judicial Magistrate, “she said that on April 12 after school hours, while proceeding to her home with her friend, she entered in a public lavatory near main chowk in Handwara for answering the call of nature.

“As soon as she came out of lavatory she was confronted by two boys and her bag was snatched. One of the boys was in school uniform. The production of the girl along with her father before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Handwara was to comply with the order of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court,” police had said.

On Monday, police have registered four FIRs including 130/2016 under sections 509, 506, 341, 354 RPC against those who spread false rumor of molestation bid, 131/2016 under section 302 against soldiers of army’s 21 RR unit for opening fire upon protesters, 132/2016 under sections 148, 149, 307, 436 RPC against the group of people who set on fire series of bunkers and vandalize government property and 133/2016 under sections 148, 149, 307, 332, 427, 511 against the group of people for attacking police station and damaging vehicles”, a police officer had said.

Pertinently, violent protests broke out in several parts of Kupwara and Handwara last Tuesday over the alleged molestation of a girl by an army soldier on Tuesday. The girl, however, has denied that she was molested.

Three persons including a woman were killed in firing by army on protesters on Tuesday while two more persons were killed in separate forces action against protesters on Wednesday at Drugmulla and on Friday at Nathnusa. (GNS)