Kulgam Rape: Identification parade delayed | Undeclared curfew in place

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Kulgam: The Special Investigation Team (SIT) constituted to probe the alleged abduction and rape of 25-year-old women of Gujjardara village in Manzigam by army men is yet to carry out the identification parade of soldiers stationed in the nearby camp.
“The SIT has so far visited the spot and collected all the circumstantial evidence. We have also sent the samples of the lady for medical examination and the final report is still awaited,” said DIG South Kashmir Range, Shafkat Ahmad Watali.
He said that the investigation is only in the preliminary stages and the identification parade of the army persons is yet to be carried.
Asked when the parade is likely to be expected, DIG said, “Police was today busy in maintaining law and order following Friday’s violent clashes in Manzigam. It will be carried out at an appropriate time.”
The police party on Friday had taken the victim to the spot inside Cheranbal forests to collect circumstantial evidence.
The team collected the clothes belonging to victim and also video-graphed the spot where the crime has been allegedly committed. Police has already taken vaginal swabs of the woman and DNA finger printing samples and sent them for medical examination.
The soldiers patrolling in the forests have been already asked to stay there for identification by the victim.
Protests erupted in this South Kashmir district on Thursday following the alleged rape of the woman. The woman alleged that on Tuesday evening she had gone to perform ablution near her dokha when two army soldiers abducted and gang raped her for two days in the nearby Kadalbal forests.
Jammu and Kashmir Kisan Tehreek has strongly denounced the alleged rape. General Secretary of Kisan Tehreek, G. N Malik said that establishment of SIT to probe the incident was a welcome step but government must set a time-frame for its completion.
Police and paramilitary forces were deployed in huge numbers in Kulgam town as well as Damhal Hanjipora and Manzgam villages following the violent clashes on Friday in which a dozen civilians and half a dozen cops were injured.
However, sporadic clashes were witnessed in Manzgam village during morning and evening hours resulting in minor injuries to two cops. In Manzigam village people alleged that there was an undeclared curfew in the area.
“The movement of the people was completely curtailed by the forces and only elderly people were allowed to move,” said the locals.
However, a police official said that there was no curfew in the area but the deployment was strengthened following yesterday’s violence in Manzigam. In Kulgam town, shops, business establishments, public and private offices were closed while traffic was off the roads. Clashes were also witnessed between government forces and youth at regular intervals in the town.

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