Army orders probe into Kashmir abduction, rape allegation

July 22nd, 2011 - 5:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, July 22 (IANS) The army has initiated an internal probe after a woman alleged abduction and rape by two men in uniform in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kulgam district, a top army official said Friday while hinting it could be an attempt to destroy the peace.

“I want to make it clear that this is an allegation and if there is truth in it, then it is a criminal act which warrants strict action against the guilty,” Lt Gen S.A. Hasnain, general officer commanding (GOC) 15th Corps, said at a press conference here Friday.

“The army is giving full cooperation to police and the state government. We have also ordered our own probe into the incident.”

Rukaya Bano, a married woman said to be aged around 30, has alleged in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district that she had been abducted Tuesday and raped by two army men who had detained her in a meadow hutment for two days. There was a complete shutdown in Kulgam town Friday where tensions are high because of the alleged incident.

Hasnain said here, “Damhal Hanjipora police station has filed an FIR of abduction and rape against two unknown uniformed men.

“There are different versions of the same situation. There are inimical forces who want to create a situation for the state government and the security forces. There are emerging versions of this. There will be many new versions which will come in the next few days. Therefore, we cannot go by a single version. We are not foreclosing any option at all.

“We are aware that not only the army, but terrorists also wear combat uniforms. We conducted an operation against terrorists a fortnight ago in the same area and the terrorists are under pressure. Therefore, this was something not unexpected at all. I was expecting it.

“The possibility of a chink in our armour cannot be ruled out. That is why we are keeping all options open,” the corps commander said.

He said the guerrillas also use radio sets as was alleged by the woman. “It is impossible that two army men will remain out of their unit for 48 hours with weapons,” he said.

The corps commander said certain individual elements were out to disturb peace and tranquillity in the valley.

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