Harassment By Local, Not Soldier.Army Releases Video

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Srinagar: Army releases video relating to  harrasment of girl. The army says it does not know who filmed the video in which the girl alleges harassment by a boy but does not talk about molestation by any soldier.The girl’s statement was recorded on a mobile phone when she was reportedly taken by the police during the protests. She has said in the video that she was “grabbed, pulled and abused by a boy” when she went to the washroom after school.As allegations that the girl had been molested by an army man circulated, protests broke out in Handwara, around 70 km from Srinagar. The police say security forces opened fire when some 500 protesters surrounded an army post, started throwing stones and tried to burn it. Naeem Bhatt, a promising cricketer who had participated in under-19 camps, 70-year-old Raja Begum and Mohammad Iqbal were killed. The army has regretted the firing but cites the video as proof that there was an “intention to malign” the force. Defence ministry spokesperson Lt Colonel NN Joshi said: “A video which surfaced is the statement of the girl and that shows there was no molestation.”The spokesperson said the army had not filmed but only released the video and it would investigate whether Standard Operating Procedures were followed. Stating that Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had assured action, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said: “Such tragic incidents have a huge negative impact on the efforts of the government and political leadership in bringing peace to state.” After the deaths the protests spread to other parts of the Kashmir Valley and reinforcements were sent to check any escalation. Separatists have called for a strike. Handwara is under a curfew and the army has vacated worst-hit parts of the town including the post that was attacked. Movement has also been restricted in parts of Srinagar today.