The Jammu and Kashmir police have arrested three Indian Army soldiers in connection with the abduction and alleged molestation of a nine-year-old girl child from north Kashmir's Bandipora district, reported The Wire.
The police have filed an FIR filed under sections 341 (wrongful restraint) 363 (kidnapping) and 511 (punishment for attempting to commit offence) at Ajas police station in connection with the incident and the three soldiers have been booked, Senior superintendent of police (SSP), Bandipora, Rahul Malik said.
The family of the girl, however, have alleged that Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code, which deals with charges of molestation, has not been included in the FIR.
The three accused have been identified as Subedar Harbachan Singh, Naik Amit Tahkor and Hawaldar Manzoor Ahmed.
According to the girl's family, she was going back home from tuitions on February 10 when a Maruti Alto car stopped on the road beside her. One of the people in the car offered her Rs 500 note but she refused to take it.
"When she tried to run, a soldier, who was in civvies, got down from the car and grabbed her arm. My daughter cried for help," the girl's father said.
"I was out of home for some work. A driver friend who was fortunately present [at the crime scene] recognised my daughter and phoned me," he said.
Majid, the girl's father and a small-time cattle trader, said that there were four people in the car including a Sikh and a local Kashmiri when e arrived at the scene.
"Upon searching the car, the locals found three number plates of three districts. Initially, the men denied working for the Army but an Army officer later arrived at the scene along with other personnel. It was then that the locals decided to hand the soldiers over to the police," Majid said.
Majid said that the incident has traumatised his entire family. He also said that his daughter is scared of coming out of the home and resuming tuitions.
One day after the incident, some army personnel reached Majid's residence "to carry out a search operation" and allegedly "pressurised them to withdraw the case."
PDP president Mehbooba Mufti said that the incident is a complete travesty of justice and demanded an impartial probe immediately.