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Patipora incident: No women harassed by police, Guv told

Jammu, Dec 31: Governor Satya Pal Malik Monday said that he has been informed that no woman was harassed in Patipora village of Pulwama by police.

The Governor, although not mentioning her name, was referring to Mehbooba Mufti who after visiting a militant’s family in the village on Sunday had alleged that the militant’s sister and her husband and another brother were “mercilessly beaten in police custody.”

She had asked Governor Malik to “initiate action and prevent such incidents in the future.”

On Monday, Governor in a statement said: “It has been widely reported in media that three close relatives of a militant were allegedly arrested and harassed by the J&K Police. It has also been alleged that the clothes of lady, who was one of the persons arrested, were also torn.”

Governor clarified that there are standing general and specific instructions that have been issued to all police officers and staff on not harassing families of militants.

“This is being followed meticulously in most circumstances. However, there could be a situation where a few relatives of a militant are questioned by police under due process of law so as to obtain details of a militant’s whereabouts. This is done very rarely and only on the basis of specific information,” the Governor said in the statement.

He added that in the Patipora incident, “it is clarified that none of the persons were questioned in Pulwama.”

“They were questioned in Jammu district based on very specific intelligence inputs. I have been informed that there has been no tearing up of a lady’s clothes or her being harassed by the police,” Governor Malik said.

He said he once again reiterates that all police officers and staff will be directed not to harass ladies who happen to be relatives of militants or treat them in any unbecoming manner.

“Any questioning should be done as per normal practice only in the presence of a lady constable.”

The Governor requested all the political parties to “understand the fragile security situation in parts of Jammu and Kashmir and not to upset this through motivated statements and false allegations.”

“This will only demoralize a hard-working police force,” he said adding: I will also direct IG Police, Kashmir to look into this incident to see whether the lady has been harassed or her clothes have been torn as is being alleged. If necessary, action will be taken against any police staff found acting wrongly.

‘Speaking for militants Mehbooba’s pre-poll compulsion’

Jammu, Dec 31: A day after PDP president and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti warned the Governor headed administration in J&K, Governor Satya Pal Malik on Monday said that speaking in favour of militants is their compulsion because elections are round the corner.

Mehbooba on Sunday warned the Governor of dire consequences in view of alleged harassment to a family of a militant in Jammu by the police.

“I do not mind what she (Mehbooba) has said because she is my friend’s daughter but one thing is clear that speaking for militants’ is out of their compulsion in view of upcoming Assembly elections,” Malik told reporters on the sidelines of a function at University of Jammu on Monday.

He however, said that if anything wrong has happened, he will order high level probe into the matter, adding: “we have nothing personal with families of militants and strict instructions have been issued to the government forces to be careful during counter insurgency operations.”

The Governor also termed 2018 year as an overall successful year in many aspects and added, “many halted developmental schemes were resumed and people have started realizing that if peace prevails, progress will automatically take place.”