A protest erupted in Handwara area of Jammu & Kashmir's Kupwara district Tuesday over an alleged molestation attempt by an Army jawan. However, the "victim" has reportedly denied being harassed by a soldier in a video released by the Army Wednesday. She has instead accused the local boys of trying to misbehave with her.
The girl, speaking in Kashmiri in the video, accused a boy in school uniform of abusing her when she came out of a bathroom near an Army bunker, according to the Daily News & Analysis.
"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," the girl said.
"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," she added.
The Army confirmed the video was authentic, the Hindustan Times reported. "The army has verified the authenticity of the video and identity of the girl," an Army statement said. Meanwhile, the Jammu & Kashmir Police are trying to find the source of the video.
At least four civilians were killed when Army personnel reportedly opened fire at the protesters who allegedly tried to set an Army bunker on fire. The deceased were identified as Mohammad Iqbal, 21, and Nayeem Qadir Bhat, 22, Jahnagir Ahmad Wani and Raja Begum, 54.
As the situation remained tense after the protests, the state administration imposed curfew in Srinagar city and Handwara town. Both the state government and the Army has initiated investigation into the killing of the four people.