Conflict & Justice

Kashmir tense after woman alleges rape by army soldiers

Tension is high in Indian-administered Kashmir, as massive protests broke out following a woman's allegations that she was abducted and raped by two soldiers of the Indian army -- viewed by many in the disputed region as an occupying force.

Rukaya Bano, a woman in south Kashmir's Kulgam district, alleged that two army men raped her after abducting her when she came out of her home on Tuesday, and forcibly detained her for two days, the Times of India said.

"She had gone out for ablutions at about 7 pm on July 19 and after that she did not return home. She came back July 21," the paper quoted local police as saying.

Jammu & Kashmir state police have registered a complaint of abduction and rape based on Bano's allegations, the paper added.

"We have registered an FIR (First Information Report) based on allegations of abduction and rape by the women. The guilty, whosoever it may be, will be brought to book," TOI quoted a senior police officer as saying.

The incident recalls the Kashmir valley-wide protests that erupted in 2009 when two women drowned in a local stream in the adjacent Shopian district. In that instance, locals alleged that the two women had been raped and murdered by army personnel, sparking general strikes that brought life to a standstill in the area for nearly the entire summer of 2009.

A subsequent Central Bureau of Investigation probe finally concluded that the duo had drowned and no rape or murder had taken place.