An alleged incident of gangrape that triggered student protests in the picturesque Himachal Pradesh town was a rumour circulated via social media, police said on Thursday.
The students said they protested on the basis of a complaint lodged with the principal of a college by a woman last Saturday, who had allegedly said her sister was in hospital after five men gang-raped her.
The news of the gangrape had gone viral on social media.
But police called the allegation false as the complainant said during questioning that her only sibling was a brother, thereby ruling out the premise on which the rape complaint was made.
The girl, named as the victim by the complainant, was identified and it was found that the two were not related, police said.
The alleged victim told the police that no such incident happened and the complainant might have spread the rumour to malign her.
As protests continued in the hill town on Thursday, the district chief of police issued a statement clarifying the matter. “We want to confirm that no such incident has taken place in Dharamsala,” Kangra superintendent of police Kapil Sharma said.
Sharma said a special investigation team (SIT) was constituted after the allegation surfaced and the complainant was identified with the help of the college principal and some students.
She cracked during questioning and admitted her complaint was false.
The complainant’s motive is being probed. Police advised people not to follow social media posts blindly.
Read: Students escalate protest even as ‘gangrape’ of college girl remains a mystery