In a clear embarrassment to to the Indian army, a report submitted by Jammu and Kashmir Police has sharply contradicted the claims made by Major Leetul Gogoi in his defence to parade Farooq Ahmad Dar as human shield by tying him to his jeep.
The police, in its report submitted to the state government, confirmed that Dar, a shawl maker, had cast his vote for the Lok Sabha bypoll on 9 April before heading to a nearby village to attend a condolence meet of one of his relatives. The conclusively proved that Dar was not a stone pelter as widely projected by those supporting Gogoi’s action.
The two-page report said, “During investigation it came to surface that on 09-04-2017 during by-poll elections various stone-pelting incidents took place in the jurisdiction of police station, Deerwah, and on the same day the said Farooq Ahmad Dar s/o Abdul Rahim, r/o Chill accompanied by Hilal Ahmad Magray s/o Ghulam Mohammad r/o Chill (witness no. 01 above mentioned) proceeded to village Gampora for condolence and after spending some time left from village Gampora and reached Utligam crossing where from he was lifted by Army during stone pelting and was tied to bonnet of the army vehicle as human shield under threat..”
The report went on to term the action by Major Gogoi as ‘wrongful confinement’ of an innocent civilian.
Gogoi was later rewarded by the Indian army chief for his using an innocent civilian as a human shield. The Indian Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat had later defended the use of a Kashmiri as a ‘human shield’ by Gogoi.
The Jammu and Kashmir Human Rights Commission too had found the army’s act in violation of human rights and ordered the state’s PDP-BJP government to award Rs 10 lakh as compensation.
“I have asked the state government to compensate Farooq Ahmad Dar for endangering his dignity and life,” Justice Bilal Nazki,Chairman SHRC, had said.
The video of a helpless Dar being tied to an army jeep had gone viral on social media platforms.
Here’s the video as well. A warning can be heard saying stone pelters will meet this fate. This requires an urgent inquiry & follow up NOW!! pic.twitter.com/qj1rnCVazn
— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) April 14, 2017