-Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS) press release-

Srinagar: Today, the Division Bench of the High Court, Justices Mohammad Yaqoob Mir and A.M. Magray, heard counsel for the mother of the minor girl on the unlawful police custody of the girl and members of her family since 12 April 2016. Detailed submissions were made regarding the manner in which the minor girl and family members have been kept under police custody and their movements severely restricted.

The High Court reserved the matter for orders but directed that the parents of the girl file affidavits stating that no police protection was required. The parents of the girl will, as directed, file affidavits stating that no police protection is required but also that the girl and family members have been under wrongful police custody since 12 April 2016 and at no point has the family voluntarily sought any police protection.

Today’s High Court order follows 27 days of oppressive police custody. In these days, the police has intimidated and harassed the minor girl and her family and every attempt has been made to try and break their will and determination. Yet, at multiple forums, beginning from the High Court petition filed on 16 April, the girl and her family have protested police custody and intimidation.

This affidavit will be the fourth time that the family has been asked to give in writing that they do not require any police protection. Earlier, twice (25 April and 27 April) the family gave in writing to Nayeema Mehjoor, the Chairperson of State Commission for Women, which was disregarded by the Police. After that Nayeema Mehjoor asked the family members to approach the CJM Court at Handwara. Then the third time the father of the minor girl approached the CJM Court Handwara on 29 April, where the Court dismissed the application, as according to Handwara police the matter was subjudice at High Court.

Through this long and frustrating legal journey what is clear is that State leaves no stone unturned and abuses all the available mechanisms of redress for the people.

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