Two complaints of gang-rape have been filed with the Jammu police in the past two weeks.

Family members of a 21-year-old girl and residents of Chingiana hamlet in Gharot (Akhnoor) complained to Domana Police that the second year BSc student of the Government College for Women was abducted by two local youths, Ghyan Chand and Shammi Kumar, on the evening on December 22 when she was outside her home. They alleged that the young woman was sexually assaulted. The police got her medically examined in a local hospital.

“Both the accused were arrested within 12 hours of the incident and they have admitted to the crime,” Superintendent of Police (Rural Jammu) Rajesh Kumar Sharma told The Hindu. “Although the medical examination report is awaited, we have collected enough evidence to establish that the accused have raped the girl,” he added.

A week later, a 45-year-old widow complained that she was sexually assaulted by three fellow villagers at Kalaban in the border district of Poonch. According to her, on the evening on December 28, she was overpowered by the three persons who repeatedly raped her and left her at a deserted spot when she was returning to Kalaban from Mendhar township. As the woman identified the “rapists”, residents of several villages demanded the arrests of Tariq Iqbal, Tazeem Khan and Muzaffar Hussain, all residents of Kalaban. The main accused Iqbal, a junior employee with the Animal Husbandry Department, was arrested and detained for questioning.

As the police failed to detain the others, some of the residents complained to the media and higher quarters of the police and civil administration in Jammu that the “criminals” were not being arrested because they had links with a former legislator of the ruling National Conference.

Shamsheer Hussain Choudhary, Senior Superintendent of Police, Poonch, however told The Hindu on Monday: “We have received and studied the medical examination report. It’s negative,” Mr. Choudhary said. According to him, the complainant and the accused had a “long history of hostility” including FIRs of rape and assault between the two families. “Most likely, her complaint is part of a long chain of enmity,” Mr. Choudhary said.

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