A day after riots broke out in Handwara on Tuesday leading to the death of two youths in army firing followed by protests, a Kashmiri girl, who was reportedly molested by a soldier, has denied such claims. In a new twist in the case, the girl has accused local boys of harassing her and then starting the riots. A video on YouTube has been circulated widely and shows the interview of the teenager, who narrates the events and made it clear that she was not molested by a soldier.
"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."
Rumours about a teenage girl being molested by a soldier belonging to the Rashtriya Rifles in a camp in Handwara in north Kashmir sparked violent protests on Tuesday. An angry mob set an Army picket on fire, pelted stones and attacked the local police station. The soldiers opened fire at the uncontrolled mob following which three persons including a woman was killed.
"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," the girls says in the video.