On April 09, 2017 Farooq Ahmad Dar resident of Budgam area of Central Kashmir was taken away by the army after he cast his vote and used as a shield, and drove him 27 kilometers, parading him through 20 different villages. By evening, after intervention by political beings and his family, he was given a final marshalling in a CRPF camp and let go.
But several people even lauded the Major for his act – defence minister Arun Jaitley had then said that in such war zones, the soldier must be allowed to act as he sees fit. Twitter was divided on whether this was a cruel tragedy or whether the major was right in using such a method to prevent any pelting incidents on the day the Lok Sabha elections were being held in Srinagar.
The Kashmiris, however, view it as a provocation and believe it will make the Kashmir situation even more unstable, reported a media outlet wion.
Wion quoted Dar’s lawyer, Ahsan Untoo, meanwhile says they will be filing a defamation suit against the T-shirt’s promoters.
“It’s simply a provocation, those acts make the life of that person miserable if he is not given justice he should not be touched with every passing day, A man tied to a jeep and then dragged in dozens of village how can that be justified, and can this boost the morale of Indian Army? We have going to file a defamation case in this matter,” Wion quoted Untoo saying.
The T-shirt and its sale have also been condemned by political parties.
The National Conference and the Congress said the Indian Army is a “big institution” and that these small acts will not boost their moral but will instead dent their credibility. They added that “we all are nationalists living in Kashmir and know how to boost the morale of the army”.
“We all know how to boost the moral of the army but this is not the way, we want peace but these acts are helping anti-national elements, it will provoke youth more,” said Taj Mohi-u-deen, senior Congress leader.
“It’s a highly condemnable act, it will instigate more trouble and will provoke people in Kashmir, the state government had failed to give justice and now they sprinkle salt on wounds,” said Junaid Mattu, National Conference spokesperson.
Dar had been tied to the jeep on April 9 last during by-elections in central Kashmir’s Budgam village. Video of the incident soon went viral.
There had reportedly been a note tied to his chest saying: “This will be the fate of stone pelters”.
A massive controversy had erupted, with the army saying Dar had been used as a human shield to safeguard polling staff and EVMs. The army officer responsible for tying Dar to the jeep — Major Leetul Gogoi — was later commended by the army.
Dar, through his lawyer who is also a human rights activist, approached the state human rights commission which directed the state government to compensate Dar. The state government, however, refused, saying they had no scheme under which they could compensate Dar, reported wion.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti at the time asked J&K Police to file a report on video. Police launched their investigation and filed an FIR.
In their investigation, they stated that Dar had cast his vote before being tied to the jeep. The army, on the other hand, had suggested that he might have been a stone pelter, reported media outlet wion.