Swift action against rape accused

Paramilitary officer suspended and faces three simultaneous enquiries

This is not being reported by the mainstream media — but this is what is happening to the rape accused.

Even as he was sent out of command today, Major Rehman of Rashtriya Rifles 30th Bn, is being subjected to DNA fingerprinting to scientifically ascertain whether he had committed rape on a woman and her daughter in Badar Payeen village of Handwara on Saturday night. In the wake of serious allegations, followed by a chain of protest demonstrations, the Army official is now simultaneously facing as many as three investigations.

While Police have launched its own investigation, Army has constituted a Court of Inquiry which will be headed by Commanding Officer of RR 21 Bn, Col Nandal. General Officer Commanding Kilo Force, Maj Gen Balhara, who visited the village on Monday, has directed headquarters of Sector-7 to associate a gazetted Police officer with the Court of Inquiry. Consequently, SDPO Handwara, Firdaus Iqbal, has been nominated as the Police representative in the Army’s Inquiry.

On Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s orders, Additional Deputy Commissioner Kupwara, Sharafat Ali Khan, has launched a separate magisterial inquiry into the same incident. He has been asked to submit his findings to the Government in 10 days.[Daily Exelsior]

Omar Abdullah, meanwhile, displaying the same senseless political opportunism that his father is so famous for, is calling for the repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act in Kashmir.

Update: Army investigation finds the officer innocent (20 Jan 2005)