The girl who was allegedly molested in Jammu and Kashmir’s Handwara town will “continue to remain in police custody for the time being”, lawyers representing the minor said. A division bench of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Tuesday heard a petition filed by the girl’s mother, seeking her immediate release, Hindustan Times reported.
The Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society, which is providing legal assistance to the girl and her family, said in a statement, that their primary demand was that “the minor girl be set free and out of oppressive police custody immediately.” Calling it an “unlawful detention”, the group also claimed that police stopped the girl from leaving Zachaldara village, where she is allegedly being detained at an undisclosed location, to appear before the high court in Srinagar. However, the Handwara police refuted the allegation. The girl has been put up at an undisclosed location near Zachaldara.
Chairperson of the Jammu & Kashmir State Commission for Women Nayeema Mehjoor is on Wednesday scheduled to meet the girl, who had reportedly written her a letter alleging “intimidation by police”. Mehjoor said she was waiting for the police to reveal who had shot the video, in which the girl was shown saying “some local boys” had molested her. “She told me last week that the video was shot by a policeman, who told her it would not be made public. But later, the same video was released by the Army,” Mehjoor said. The girl’s face was shown in the video, which is a violation of the rights of minor victims of sexual assault. The girl’s earlier allegation that army personnel were behind the act had led to violent protests in the state’s Kupwara district.