court order judgement state times news
Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Wednesday sought the state government’s response on a PIL seeking a high level judicial inquiry into the alleged molestation incident in Handwara and subsequent violence even as it directed the police to facilitate a meeting of the girl and her father with her mother’s counsel.
The Kashmir High Court Bar Association (KHCBA) had filed the PIL seeking a high-level judicial probe into the killing of five civilians during violent protests last week following an alleged molestation bid by an army man.
A division bench of the court issued notice to the state government, seeking its response by April 26, the next date of hearing.
Meanwhile, a single bench of the court, hearing a plea filed by the mother of the girl against her alleged “illegal detention”, directed that the petition be clubbed with the PIL being heard by the division bench.
The police on Wednesday submitted its status report including the statement of the alleged victim recorded before the Chief Judicial Magistrate of  Handwara last week. The girl had denied that she was molested by a soldier.
The mother of the victim had filed a petition before the High Court last week, seeking release of her daughter, husband and sister who police said were in ‘protective’ police custody.
As the petitioner’s counsel claimed that they were not allowed access to the girl and her father, the court directed the police to facilitate a meeting of the counsel with the girl and her father.
The court also directed the police to file a compliance report by the next date of hearing.
The KHCBA in its petition contended that “there are no chances of getting a fair deal at the hands of the government agencies”.
“It is now for the court to act and provide relief to the people by ordering a high level judicial probe in the matter, to be headed by a sitting Judge of the High Court and also to be assisted by a high level investigating team to be headed by a credible police officer of repute, so that the public faith which stands already eroded is restored,” it added.

Protesters demand release of Handwara girl
Srinagar: Scores of students on Wednesday staged a demonstration here demanding release of the girl who is at the centre of the Handwara molestation row in which five civilians were killed during violent protests last week.
Carrying placards, the students staged the protest at Press Enclave in the heart of the city this afternoon alleging that the girl had been “illegally” detained along with her family members. The protest was organised by All India Students’ Association (AISA). “We demand the immediate release of the girl and her family members from police custody and their unhindered access to legal help,” Essar Batool, a girl student, told reporters.
The girl was taken into preventive custody after alleged molestation by a soldier triggered violent protests at Handwara town, 80 kms from here, leading to firing by security forces which left three persons including a woman dead in Kupwara district last week. Two more persons were killed over the week in similar protests against the incident.
The girl had in her statement later denied that she was molested by a soldier.
Some of the placards read “the minor girl needs our support not our criticism”, “end denial of legal assistance to her”, “end surveillance and control over the movement of the girl and her family” and “end character assassination of the girl”.
They also demanded action against those responsible for the killing of five persons.