The army has ordered an inquiry into the alleged involvement of its men in the abduction and rape of a woman in Kulgam in south Kashmir.
While making the announcement at a media conference on Friday, Lt General Syed Ata Hasnain, General Officer Commanding of 15 Corps, also said the crime could have been committed by terrorists.
The 32-year-old woman, a resident of Manzgam village, 100 km from Srinagar, had alleged that two armymen abducted her on Tuesday and gangraped her for two days. A case has been lodged.
"If there is any truth in the allegations, strongest action will be taken," said Hasnain.
"The possibility of a chink in our armour cannot be ruled out."
He, however, pointed out that it was "practically impossible" for two armed army personnel to stay away from their unit for 48 hours. It was likely the culprits were terrorists.
"The combat uniform has been worn by terrorists for years," he said.
The police, meanwhile, said the preliminary medical examination of the woman has not indicated an assault.
On Friday, HT visited the couple's home in Manzgam.
All roads in the area were taken over by protesters. Stones and tear-gar shells rained after the Friday prayers and several vehicles were damaged.
The victim's husband said he was unaware of the details of her ordeal. The locals claimed there were no militants in the area, though the army had begun patrolling since last week.
In a post in Twitter, chief minister Omar Abdullah said the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFPSA) would not be allowed to hamper the legal process.