National Conference, on Monday, expressed disappointment over the clean-chit provided by the Army to its Officer responsible for resorting to the use of a human-shield in Budgam district.
It said that the verdict of the military investigation goes against not only the military code and the very premise of the Geneva Convention but also violates the fundamental rights provided by the Constitution of India to all its citizens.
National Conference state spokesperson said it was tragic that the Army rather than initiating swift and strict disciplinary action against the erring Major has ended up commending him and condoning his act of tying a civilian, Farooq Ahmed Dar, to the Army jeep.
“Farooq Ahmed Dar was tied to the bonnet of an Army jeep and paraded around 24-villages. The Army had irrefutable video evidence that this civilian was used as a human-shield and robbed of his right to dignity.”
He said, “At this moment the State should have taken a moral stand and unequivocally condemn the incident and initiated proceedings against the concerned officer. Unfortunately, the reverse has happened.”
The NC spokesperson said, “Certain things are outrightly unjustified regardless of the circumstances. We live in a democratic country where people have unquestionable and unconditional fundamental rights and these fundamental rights cannot be put into abeyance as per the whims of an individual or his perception of what is right and what is wrong in a given situation.”
“The Constitution is not open to selective application. You cannot hold the institution of the Army to the same standard as non-State actors or protesters,” the NC spokesperson said.
He said the State Government should have been at the forefront of seeking justice for Farooq Ahmed Dar whose psychological trauma has been noted and highlighted by the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC).
“The State government should have raised this issue with the Centre and if needed even sought for a waiver of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in this case.”