Carrying placards, the students staged the protest at Press Enclave in the heart of the city this afternoon alleging that the girl had been "illegally" detained along with her family members.
    
 The protest was organised by All India Students' Association (AISA).
    
"We demand the immediate release of the girl and her family members from police custody and their unhindered access to legal help," Essar Batool, a girl student, told reporters.
    
The girl was taken into preventive custody after alleged molestation by a soldier triggered violent protests at Handwara town, 80 kms from here, leading to firing by security forces which left three persons including a woman dead in Kupwara district last week.
    
Two more persons were killed over the week in similar protests against the incident. The girl had in her statement later denied that she was molested by a soldier.
    
Some of the placards read "the minor girl needs our support not our criticism", "end denial of legal assistance to her", "end surveillance and control over the movement of the girl and her family" and "end character assassination of the girl". They also demanded action against those responsible for the killing of five persons.

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