HC queries police on ‘detention’ of girl, kin in Handwara


Srinagar: Jammu Kashmir High Court Saturday passed directions to the police to refrain from recording any statement from the minor girl of Handwara in the police station. Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar passed these directions after the family members of the minor girl filed a Habeas Corpus petition through their counsel advocate Parvez Imroz. Court also asked police to explain under which law it has detained the minor girl and other family members.
The girl was allegedly molested by a soldier, following which protests erupted in Handwara town of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district on Tuesday last. Five civilians have died in police and army action after the incident.
Talking to reporters outside High Court complex here, advocate Parvez Imroz said that Habeas Corpus petition was filed against the wrongful confinement of the minor girl, her father and aunt in police station Handwara since April 12. “The court was also informed that the minor girl was forced to record her statement on the tape in police custody and the action on part of the police have engendered the lives of her family members,” he said. 
“I pleaded before the court that the petitioners have been kept in illegal detention in violation of the constitutional rights guaranteed under Article 21 of the constitution of India. I also submitted before the court that the petitioner apprehends that the life of her minor daughter, husband and sister is in jeopardy. I also pleaded before the court that in violation of legal and constitutional rights, the police authorities are forcing them to make some statements before the media, which is not permissible under law,” Imroz said.
Imroz, according to CNS, said that the victim is minor and under Juvenile Justice Act her statement doesn’t stand valid. “Even the statement of a major is not admissible if it is recorded in police custody. Police have been denying that it made a video of the girl but the fact is that both police and army are jointly responsible for making this ‘coercive’ video. First the police made the video of the girl and gave access to Army in police station. Both Army and police circulated the video and used it as a propaganda tool in the media,” Imroz said.
He alleged that the girl was forced to record her statement in police station on tape to absolve Army for their role in molestation. “As per our information, on the instructions of Army, it was SP Handwara Ghulam Jeelani Wani who forced the minor girl to speak on tape. We demand an impartial inquiry into the incident. We wanted to know, why a minor girl was forced to record her statement in police station and why the video was circulated and who gave access to Army to the police station,” Imroz said.
“The Court clearly stated that police can record the statement in presence of victim’s guardian before Chief Judicial Magistrate. Both police and army tried to blame the minor girl to save their skin. Police is directly responsible for everything that happened since April 12 till date in Kashmir Valley,” Imroz said adding that case has been listed for next hearing on April 20 this month.

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