(Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that locals had molested the girl. She has reportedly said that she was harassed by some locals. The error is regretted.)
A Kashmiri schoolgirl, whose alleged molestation by an Indian Army soldier has sparked violent protests in Handwara, has apparently told the police a different version of incidents. According to reports, she has told police that she was not molested by a soldier, but had in fact been harassed by some locals who later instigated the violence, reports PTI.
In a video released by the Indian Army, the girl is seen recounting part of the episode.
"We released the video to media where the girl has given an interview to the police," said the Army's spokesperson in Srinagar, Kanuj Joshi, to HuffPost India. "We did not record the video because the interview was given to police but we released it to the media."
Translation of video from The Times of India:
"I went to the (public) washroom and handed my bag to a friend. When I came back, a Kashmiri student heckled me and snatched my bag. The boy in school uniform slapped me and asked 'if there were no boys in the valley' (angrily insinuating that the girl was in a relationship with a soldier). I was shocked and confused about what he had said. Suddenly, several boys gathered. The boy asked me to go to the police station with him. There was a police uncle nearby. I told the boy to return my bag so that I could go to police station with the cop. He said he would not return my bag and started abusing me."
"There was no soldier there (near or in the washroom). I saw Hilal (an acquaintance). He slapped me and asked me what I was doing there. I asked him how he too could accuse me of any such thing (allegation of an illicit relationship) knowing me and our family. He too started abusing. It seemed that they had conspired in advance. The boy instigated all other boys too to create trouble."
Meanwhile, a junior police officer has been suspended for 'mishandling' the law & order situation in Handwar. “Assistant Sub-Inspector Rafiq Ahmad has been suspended pending inquiries into yesterday’s incident,” said a senior police official said.
Watch the video of the girl below.
(with PTI inputs)
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