Behind Rukhsana’s story of bravery, a ‘forgotten’ abduction

Behind the story of 20-year-old Gujjar girl Rukhsana's exemplary bravery is another one regarding the police's alleged attempts to cover up her abduction by local youths two months ago. On Sunday night, Rukhsana axed to death a Lashkar commander. Not long ago, on July 24, Rukhsana and her aunt Kulzum Pari were abducted by Aijaz Sameer and his accomplices.

Rukhsana said the police tried to cover up the case and even offered her money to say before the magistrate that she was not abducted. But once she made the statement, the money was not given to her.

The police closed the case after getting her statement recorded before a judicial magistrate. "The medical examination report of the girl confirmed that there had been no rape," said Head Constable Maqbool Hussain of Thanamandi police station, who is the investigating officer in the case.

Rajouri SSP Shafqat Watali admitted that the girl was abducted two months ago. "The local police cannot close the case. Even if it is closed, we will reopen it," he said, adding that it is possible that there's a link between her abduction and militants barging into her house on Sunday night.

Rukhsana's mother Rashida Begum said the slain militant had threatened Rukhsana "baaz aye (beware)".

The J-K government has given 5,000 as reward to Rukhsana. Governor N N Vohra on Tuesday said that he wanted to recommend her for a gallantry award. The Governor also intends to invite Rukhsana to honour her at the Raj Bhavan.

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