Amnesty Report: Torture Case of 16-year-old Girl

KL NEWS NETWORK

SRINAGAR

Rape-Art

In Sheila’s (name changed) case, the Jammu and Kashmir state police refused to register a complaint or conduct an investigation into her allegations of torture. A Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) allegedly tortured the 16-year-old girl – including subjecting her to sexual violence – on 3 July 2004. According to Sheila’s testimony, the DSP was interrogating her about the death of a CRPF soldier by an armed group earlier in 2004, since she was the deceased soldier’s neighbour.

“It happened when I was 15 or 16 years old. The date was 3 July 2004. I was in the 8th standard, and it was the first day I had ever gotten my period. I remember my friends and me discussing what it was like to have a period… The constables started hitting me, first with their hands, and then with the leg of a chair. The nails that were attached to the rest of the chair were still stuck in the leg. I cried in pain. But they wouldn’t stop. Once the constables were tired of hitting me with the chair, they went outside and told the Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) that I was not going to say anything. So, the DSP told them that he would get the information himself. The DSP came inside the room. I had been looking at the windows for a way to escape but the windows were locked. He kicked me with his shoes on, right in the abdomen. The DSP beat me with the leg of the chair with the nails still in it–on my legs, on my stomach and my vaginal parts. Then I fell unconscious. The nails went inside my legs and made them swell. I was bleeding as someone urinates.”

The day after Sheila was taken into police custody and allegedly assaulted, she and her father went to the local police station in her area to file a case against the DSP, but the police refused to register the case. Sheila says the Inspector General, Jammu and Kashmir, subsequently came to visit her family with a cheque for 200,000 rupees (approximately 3,130 US dollars), and an offer of jobs for her two brothers. She says she told him, “This is an empty gesture. Is this really the government’s response? You can leave the money, but who will protect my family from harassment when you leave?”

Sheila approached the State Human Rights Commission in 2004, which issued a one-page judgment in 2008. It is the only official document that Sheila has in relation to her complaint. The judgment recommends compensation for Sheila and her family and the registration of a case with the police. Neither recommendation has been implemented.

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