Army probe underway in human shield case as HR activists seek action


Vision News Network

Srinagar: Army on Monday said that the probe in the case in which its personnel tied a youth to the bonnet of vehicle is under way even as Human Rights activists sought action against the force personnel who were involved in the act.

Defence Spokesman, Rajesh Kalia, said on Monday that the reports about the army officer getting clean chit for using a civilian as human shield are “speculative”. “The court of inquiry concerned with the incident wherein a civilian was tied to an army jeep is still incomplete.”

Earlier there were reports that the army officer who used the civilian, Farooq Ahmad Dar, as human shield on polling day in Budgam in April was given a clean chit. “Reports in some sections of the media of the army major being given a clean chit are speculative,” Kalia said.

The Army has ordered a Court of Inquiry (COI) after police registered an FIR in the incident after an army Major tied the youth to the bonnet of a jeep as a human shield. 

The video of the youth being tied to the front of a moving army jeep to serve as a human shield against stone pelters had evoked anger and shock in Kashmir.  The army had said it is investigating the video.

“In reference to the video showing a young man tied to an army jeep, the contents of the video are being verified and investigated,” Kalia said earlier.

 The incident triggered political outrage with former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah expressing shock over the incident after posting the Twitter that, “This young man was tied to the front of an army jeep to make sure no stones were thrown at the jeep? This is just so shocking!” He had called for an inquiry: “A warning can be heard (in the video) saying stone pelters will meet this fate. This requires an urgent inquiry and follow up now.”

 The video was shot in the Beerwah area of Budgam district, where youth disrupted polling on April 9, and had gone viral on social media in Kashmir. In the clip, an army soldier could be heard saying, “Those who throw stones will meet the same fate.” The video showed the army jeep moving ahead of an army patrol, while some villagers could be overheard that the youth had been picked by the army. The Jammu and Kashmir police has filed an FIR against the army’s 53 Rashtriya Rifles unit at the Beerwah police station in Budgam district. 

Human Rights activist, Ehsan Untoo, who has filed a petition before the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) said that action should be taken against the concerned army unit.

“I fail to understand that why no action has been taken against the concerned army unit. “Army is only buying time. The SHRC earlier directed that the medical examination of the youth should be done and the doctors said that he is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder,’’ he said.

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