This Article is From May 13, 2019

3-Year-Old's Rape In Bandipore Sparks Protests In Kashmir

The police have said the accused has been arrested and a special investigation team (SIT) has been constituted to investigate the case

Officials have reduced internet speeds in the area to stop the spread of protests

Sumbal, Jammu and Kashmir:

Outrage has spread across Jammu and Kashmir over the rape of a three-year-old in Sumbal area of Bandipore district last week. The accused, who has been arrested, has claimed that he is a minor. Protests by students, political parties and the civil society have spread across the Kashmir Valley, with calls for strictest possible punishment.

The incident is believed to have happened last week. The accused had given the child some sweets and taken her to an isolated courtyard in Trigam village, where she was assaulted.

When the child narrated the incident to her parents, her father took the man to the police.

Medical examination has confirmed rape and the arrested accused has been booked under rape charges and POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences), a senior police officer said.

A controversy, however, started after the accused produced a certificate from a private school that says he is a minor.

Angry villagers demanded that the school be sealed, some even attempted to set it on fire. Police said the school's principal, who is also a close relative of the victim, has been taken into custody.

"A medical board will determine the age of accused through ossification test. We have not entertained the certificate issued by school principal'' said a senior police officer. Official sources said the principal is in "protective custody" because police fear he may be harmed by angry villagers.

Several schools and colleges have closed after protesting students clashed with security forces. All political parties and religious and social groups have strongly condemned the incident and demanded that the investigation be fast-tracked.

A special investigation team (SIT) has been formed to investigate the case. Officials have clamped down on mobile internet services to prevent further protests.