Kashmir faith healer accused of molestation rearrested

  • Toufiq Rashid, Hindustan Times, Srinagar
  • Updated: Feb 15, 2015 22:33 IST

Police in Kashmir has re-arrested Gulzar Ahmad Bhat or Gulzar peer, who was allegedly involved in rape and molestation of several girls, including minors at his school in Central Kashmir's Budgam district.

Senior police official said it is "a preventive arrest" following the protests after the principal sessions court, Budgam, acquitted Bhat for lack of evidence.

Speaking to Hindustan Times, inspector general of police AG Mir said that they were planning to contest the acquittal.
Bhat has been arrested by police after five minor girls accused him of sexually exploiting them during their stay at his 'school'.

"The police department believes that there is enough evidence in the case which has not been appreciated. So, we have contacted a team of lawyers and will contest his release soon,'' Mir said.

On Saturday, the victims, mostly minors, had also protested against Bhat's release saying it was against the Supreme Court guidelines. The girls who had their faces covered said they will appeal against the decision in the state high court.

The girls alleged that Bhat had raped at least over 40 girls in his so called 'Hujra-e-Khas'.

The 'faith healer' from Central Kashmir's Budgam district, Gulzar, was arrested by police in May 2013 after the accusations of rape but was acquitted by a principal sessions judge Syed Tauqeer on Thursday for "lack of evidence.''

Bhat's release was condemned by many, including separatist leaders and members of civil society.

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