Case over minor girl (who cannot be identified) and her family a battle for human rights
(Image, Deviant Art)
Press release Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS)
20 April 2016
Today, the ninth day of the illegal police custody of the Handwara minor girl, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court heard the Habaes Corpus petition for the immediate release of the girl, father and aunt.
The High Court observed that a PIL had been filed by the Bar Association seeking similar relief and therefore directed that the Habeas Corpus petition be clubbed with the PIL that is next listed for 26 April 2016. But, the court also directed that SP, Handwara [Ghulam Jeelani Wani] facilitate a meeting between the mother and her lawyers and the minor girl, and a report of the compliance of this order be filed before the Division Bench hearing the PIL. The Police also filed a status report before the court where they have taken the position that the minor girl and father had sought police protection. No mention is made of the video that was recorded and circulated while the minor girl was in police custody. The police submissions are misrepresentations to cover up the illegal police custody and the other illegal actions of the police [particularly SP Ghulam Jeelani] such as the recording and circulation of the video, the abuse and exploitation of the girl in custody, forcible signatures taken on documents seeking police protection, and the statement of the minor girl being recorded before the magistrate under duress.
The consequence of todays proceedings are six more days of illegal police custody for the Handwara minor girl. But, the direction to SP Ghulam Jeelani Wani will ensure that for the first time since being detained the minor girl and family will have unhindered access to legal counsel.
In the meantime, JKCCS has been contacted by Ms. Nayeema Mehjoor, Chairperson, State Commission for Women, who has assured that she will do the needful for the release and relocation, if necessary, of the minor girl and family.
Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights/WOT and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad. She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”.