Nearly 3,000 angry villagers shaved the heads of two Indian soldiers and paraded them naked in the Indian portion of Kashmir, accusing them of trying to molest a teenage girl while posing as Islamic rebels, police and local residents said Wednesday.
"Down with the Indian army," "The culprits be hanged," citizens shouted in Bandipore, a town 65 kilometers (40 miles) north of Srinagar, the summer capital of India's Jammu-Kashmir state.
Police arrested the two soldiers and charged them with trespassing and attempting to molest a female, said police officer Imtiaz Hossain.
Brig. V. Garg, the area army commander, acknowledged that the two were Indian soldiers, but said they were taken hostage Tuesday by some residents of Kunan, a nearby village, where they had gone to collect intelligence.
"The two soldiers were on patrol duty when civilians took them hostage. Nonetheless, we have initiated our own investigation into the matter," Garg told The Associated Press.