BUDGAM: After six months, the Budgam police finally woke up on Wednesday to the task of recording the statement of Farooq Dar, the civilian who was tied to the front of an army jeep and paraded around a dozen villages on April 9, an act widely decried as use of “human shield” by the army.
The latest development comes a day after Kashmir Reader carried a report, ‘Police haven’t even recorded Farooq Dar’s statement in human shield case’.
However, the police made no earnest efforts to record the victim’s statement. Dar was asked to report to the police station, instead of the police going to his home. Dar told Kashmir Reader that he received a call on his phone and was asked to report to the police station “immediately”.
“I was on my way to work today morning when my phone rang. I picked up the phone and came to know that a policeman from SDPO Magam was calling,” Dar said.
He said that the policeman asked him to come to the SDPO office immediately, to record his statement in the case the police have registered over the April 9 incident.
Dar said that he is a poor man and had no money to visit the SDPO office, which is at least 30 kilometers from his home. “I somehow managed to reach there with the little money I had in my pocket. After I recorded my statement, I went completely hungry through the day. I had no money left in my pocket,” Dar said.
“I was asked to record all the events of that day when I was caught by army men and thrashed severely by them, before being tied to the jeep. I was asked whether I can identify the army men who tied me to the jeep. I said that the army men had their faces covered and it is not possible for me to identify them by face,” Dar said.
Dar told Kashmir Reader that the police’s questions seemed to be intended at letting the army men off the hook. “When it is known that army men from the unit of 53 RR (Rashtriya Rifles) tied me to the jeep, then what does it mean to identify them by face?” he said.
Dar has given an account of his capture and beating by army men in several interviews to the media. He has said that he was dipped in icy cold water several times by the army men before he was tied to the bonnet of an army jeep.