India Army Clears Officer Of Rape Charge In Kashmir
19 January 2005
Srinagar: The Indian military said on Wednesday an army major was cleared of allegations that he had raped a Kashmiri woman and her 10-year-old daughter, saying their vaginal swabs showed no DNA traces of the officer. The allegations of rape against Major Rehman Hussain had triggered protests in November in the disputed Himalayan region where Indian forces have been battling a revolt since late 1989. But the military said DNA tests on the woman, her daughter and the army major conducted by a government-run laboratory did not support the rape charge. The army had ordered an inquiry into the allegations and promised tough action if the accusations were found to be true. Protesters in Kashmir had said the officer allegedly raped the woman and her daughter in their house at Baderpayeen village in north Kashmir during a search operation. Human rights groups blame Indian soldiers and militant groups for widespread abuses in Kashmir. Indian authorities deny the allegations, saying they investigate all reports and punish the guilty.