Srinagar,  Apr 30

Withdraw ‘security cover’ of Handwara girlFile Photo

Chairperson of State Commission for Women (SCW), Nayeema Ahmad Mehjoor, has asked the police to withdraw the ‘security cover’ of Handwara molestation victim even as the Inquiry Officer (IO) probing Handwara killings has sent reminder to Army to clear their position about the incident.
“I have written to police for withdrawal of security cover of the girl,” Nayeema Ahmad Mehjoor told Greater Kashmir. Mehjoor visited Zachaldara two days ago to the girl. “I spent some time with the girl and she is better now. Her father was also supposed to file an application with police for withdrawal of security cover.”
SCW chairperson said that the girl is guarded by police in civvies. “Some two-three cops remain around the house. They do not enter the house where the girl and her parents stay,” she said.
The girl is in police custody since April 12 after she was allegedly molested by a soldier. On that day two youth and a 53-year old woman were killed in Army firing in Handwara after protests broke out in the town against alleged molestation of the girl by a soldier of 21 Rashtriya Rifles.
Nayeema said she met the girl in front of her parents. “So far the girl did not change her statement. She repeated what she has deposed before Chief Judicial Magistrate Handwara,” Mehjoor said. “Once she is set free, we will again record her statement.”
Mehjoor said that girl is interested in continuing her studies. “I managed her books which were with police. She is preparing for examination,” she said adding that the girl is free to study anywhere. “She insisted to join back same Handwara school and we will take up the matter with Principal of the institution.”
Meanwhile, Additional Deputy Commissioner Handwara has written to Army to clear their position about the incident. “Army did not respond and we have written to them again today,” officials told Greater Kashmir.
The Army has not so far responded to communications of Inquiry Officer (IO) appointed by the government to probe the recent civilian killings in Handwara. The IO has recorded the statements of over 20 people.
Pertinently, after April 12, the protests intensified and two more youth were killed in Kupwara district—one by police in Drugmulla and another by Army in Nutnusa on Srinagar-Kupwara highway. Scores of people were also injured in protests against the killings.