Police today said that the Handwara girl and her father are not in police custody but they have sought police protection following large scale violence last week in North Kashmir’s Kupwara district after subversive elements resorted to violence alleging her molestation by Army man.
SP Handwara and the SHO in the status report filed before the Jammu and Kashmir High Court today said that on April 12, the girl approached the Police Station Handwara with a grievance that she was molested and dragged and slapped by two local boys while coming out of a public lavatory in the Main Chowk Handwara in district Kupwara.
The report further says that the girl stated that while molesting her modesty the boys exchanged some disgraced words towards her. “Accordingly a case vide FIR No. 130/2016 u/s 509 (Uttering any word of making any gesture intended to insult the modesty of a woman) 354 (outraging the modesty of woman) and 341 (wrongful restrain) of RPC was registered in Police Station Handwara”, it adds.
The report states that hue and cry in town was raised by some subversive elements against the Army personnel alleging forcible molestation of the girl by the Army.
The allegation of molestation, status report reveals, provoked the locals and the news spread like wild fire in the whole town. “The situation took an ugly turn and violent mob gathered in the Main Chowk. To disperse the mob and tackle the situation the Army personnel resorted to firing, resulting in death of two persons besides inflicting injuries to some youth and in this regard FIR u/s Section 302 RPC stands registered in police station Handwara”, the report reads.
The report says the father and daughter fear for their lives and requested for protective custody and accordingly both were allowed to stay in the Police Station for a night and all necessary steps were taken.
“Curfew was imposed in the town under the orders of authorities and despite imposition of curfew the whole district Kupwara witnessed huge protests against the killing of the civilians and during these protests two more youth lost their lives. In this back drop the girl and her father apprehended enormous danger to their lives and denied to leave the Police Station thereafter they were shifted to the house of a father’s friend and their identity and location was kept hidden to the mother of girl, so that they may remain safe and secure as such no question of wrongful restrain or wrongful confinement does exist”, report says.
About the recording of statement of girl and her father (u/s 64 of CrPC), the report says that the Investigating Officer approached the CJM at his residence with an application for recording of statement. “However, the CJM owing to Gazetted holiday declined to record their statement and directed the IO to produce the witnesses on next day for recording their statement”, the statement said.
“On the next day it was submitted, both were taken to CJM with the application who transferred the said application for recording the statement of the witnesses to Judicial Magistrate Handwara and thus he (Judicial Magistrate) recorded the statement of both witnesses after making thorough enquiries”, the report reads.
The report says: “After recording of statement and leaving the court room, the father of the girl immediately approached the CJM with an application seeking police protection and the application was forwarded to police authorities for necessary action under law.”
In the meantime, Jammu and Kashmir High Court today directed the authorities to take steps for meeting of counsel and mother with the minor girl.
Justice MH Attar has been informed that the PIL has also been filed regarding the issues which have been taken in the petition and court with these submissions directed for listing of the matter with that PIL with the observation that ‘there can’t be parallel proceeding in the case’ when Division Bench is seized of the matter.
“In the aforesaid circumstances, it will be appropriate to d

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