When forces probed their own for rape


According to information gathered by rights group International People's Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice through RTI applications, the case was split between a court-martial and criminal courts (in Banihal, Ramban and Jammu). The court-martial found Tewatia guilty of rape, sentenced him to seven years of imprisonment and dismissed him from service. He challenged the findings on October 1, 2000. On December, 31, 2002, the high court set aside the court-martial's ruling. In 2003, the defence ministry filed a letter patent appeal in the high court, where it is pending. The state government didn't challenge the high court order.

February 23, 1991: That night, soldiers of 4 Raj Rifles cordoned Kunan Poshpora village of Kupwara, allegedly forced men out of their homes at and allegedly gangraped 36 women. Trehgam police lodged a complaint. Then deputy commissioner S M Yasin confirmed mass rape while then divisional commissioner Wajahat Habibullah doubted the veracity of the complaint but sought a probe nevertheless. The Army asked the Press Council of India to probe the allegations. A team headed by B G Verghese found "inconsistencies" in the women's testimonies and termed the charges a "well-concocted bundle of fabricated lies". The police closed the case after eight months without any probe, the ground being "untraced".

In 2004, the women approached the State Human Rights Commission, which in October 2011 recommended that the government reopen the case, compensate the victims and initiate proceedings against the then director, prosecution. A year on, the government is yet to accept or reject the commission's recommendations.

April 18, 2002: Personnel of the BSF's 58 Battalion allegedly gangraped a 17-year-old in front of her mother, relatives and neighbours, all held hostage at gunpoint in Kullar, Pahalgam. Some 15 or 16 men in a BSF patrol party, passing through their village, had been beating up the girl's uncle and she had tried to rescue him. A medical examination confirmed rape, while then BSF inspector general (Kashmir Frontiers) G S Gill, too, conceded that BSF personnel had committed rape. The girl identified three men at a parade. The same day, a case of rape was registered at Pahalgam police station. The police say that they submitted a chargesheet before the chief judicial magistrate in Anantnag. There hasn't been any progress since.

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