Correspondence made with army to identify vehicle: Police
Srinagar: The State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) on Thursday directed Medical Superintendent of SMHS hospital here to provide free of cost treatment to a youth who was tied to the bonnet of an army jeep on April 9, the day by-poll to Srinagar-parliamentary constituency was held.
The direction was passed by member SHRC, Jung Bahadur Singh Jamwal, after the victim, Farooq Ahmad Dar, appeared before him and submitted that he has suffered injuries during the incident. Farooq, accompanied by the Ahsan Untoo who is chairman International Forum for Justice, said that he required a medical checkup following which the Commission directed the Medical Superintendent to get him examined thoroughly and if the victim requires any treatment, it be provided to him without any cost on priority basis. The Medical Superintendent has been asked to submit the report within a week.
Last week, the SHRC took cognizance of the incident and termed using humans as shields gross human rights violation.
“Using of human beings as shields is a prima-facie gross violation of human rights,” the SHRC had said and sought a report from the SP Budgam as to “whether such an incident has happened and if so in what circumstances.” The police submitted the report in affirmative, stating that on April 13, police station Beerwah received information through “reliable sources” that news channels have broadcasted a video, depicting that on April 9 polling day one individual, Farooq Ahmad Dar was tied with ropes to army vehicle followed by a Casper vehicle and making it a human shield act.
On receipt of this, a case (FIR 38/2017 under RPC sections of 342, 149 and 506) was registered and investigation take up. “During the investigation site plan of the place of occurrence from where Farooq was lifted and tied to army vehicle has been prepared. Motorcycle of Farooq has also been seized as piece of evidence from village Utligam. Statement of seven witnesses has also been recorded,” the police said.
As per police, Farooq along with one Hilal Ahmad Magrey had gone to a nearby to offer condolence and after spending some time left the village. On reaching near Utligam crossing, he was lifted by army during stone pelting and was tied to bonnet of the vehicle as “human shield under threat and kept him under wrongful confinement and has been paraded/moved around with in the area and was later released.”
“A correspondence has been made with army for identification of involved army party vehicle. The investigation of the case is in progress,” the police said. Untoo, who states to have filed the complaint, questioned the police response. “The army unit is already known and police ought to have arrested the guilty. It (the report) is nothing but a time delaying tactic,” he told Kashmir Reader.
The 27-year-old was picked up by the army’s 35 RR in Utligam village, tortured, forcibly dipped several times in the icy cold water of a stream, and was later tied in unconscious state to the bonnet of an army jeep as a human shield to prevent protesters from targeting the army patrol on April 9, the day the parliamentary by-poll was held in Budgam, Srinagar and Ganderbal.
Soon after the incident, Farooq told Kashmir Reader that he was paraded 25 kiolmeters through various villages including Utligam, Sonpah, Nagam, Chakpora, Rawalpora, Khospura, Arizal and Harbpanzu.
“It is a total distance of 25 kiolmeters,” Farooq said. “In pain, I would whisper to them to free me, but the army men would threaten me that they would shoot me in the head. I would fall silent”.
He said that he could see people running away from the jeep when he was being paraded through villages. “Some youth wanted to free me. In Khoshpura, people came out to free me but could not because the army soldiers chased them away,” Farooq had said.