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Wednesday, 4 October, 2000, 12:49 GMT 13:49 UK
Soldier jailed for Kashmir rape
Indian firing
India says Pakistan is behind the violence
The Indian army has sentenced one of its officers to seven years imprisonment for raping a young girl in Indian administered- Kashmir.

An army spokesman in Jammu said the soldier had been dismissed from service last month following allegations that he had raped a girl in a village in Doda district last February.

The incident led to angry demonstrations by villagers calling for the punishment of the officer.

The army promised an inquiry and the soldier - whose rank was captain - was found guilty of committing the crime and dismissed.

The army spokesman said that a special police officer had also been involved in the incident.

Rare departure

The BBC's Binoo Joshi in the Kashmiri winter capital, Jammu, says the case marks a rare departure for the army, both in terms of making the case public and in taking such severe action.

She says that although there have been allegations of violence and even rape against the security forces, the army has rarely made public any action it has taken.

Human rights groups have voiced concern about the behaviour of Indian forces, in particular alleged extra-judicial killings and the disappearances of those suspected of involvement in militant activity.

India and Pakistan both lay claim to Kashmir, and Indian forces have faced an insurgency in the territory for the past decade.

India says Pakistan is behind the violence, a charge Pakistan routinely denies.

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See also:

18 Aug 00 | South Asia
Fresh Kashmir peace proposal
17 Aug 00 | South Asia
Border clash in Kashmir
16 Aug 00 | South Asia
Kashmir flares up again
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