JKSHRC to hear human shield case on June 5, separatists call for protests on Friday

Army Major Gogoi allegedly trussed up Farooq Ahmad Dar and tied him to the bonnet of a jeep on the day of bypolls to the Srinagar Parliamentary constituency, apparently in a bid to deter stone pelters

Published: 25th May 2017 05:29 PM  |   Last Updated: 25th May 2017 08:48 PM   |  A+A-

The video, in which a man was seen tied to an army jeep, allegedly as a human shield against stone-pelting, had gone viral on social media. (Screengrab of the video)

Express News Service

SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission (JKSHRC) will on June 5 hear petition filed against taking of a Kashmiri youth as human shield by army while separatist leaders have called for protests on Friday (tomorrow) against awarding Major Leetul Gogoi, who tied a youth to an army vehicle as a human shield in central Kashmir’s Budgam district last month.

The petition against human shield incident has been filed by International Forum for Justice and Human Rights Jammu and Kashmir (IFJHRJK) chairman Mohammad Ahsan Untoo.

Untoo told New Indian Express that JKSHRC will hear the petition on human shield incident on June 5.

Major Leetul Gogoi had tied a Kashmiri youth Farooq Ahmad Dar of Chill village of Budgam in front of an army vehicle and used him as a human shield against stone pelters in Beerwah area of Budgam district on April 9, when bypolls for Srinagar parliamentary seat was held.

27-year-old Farooq Ahmad Dar had told reporters that he was paraded through at least dozen villages in Budgam district.

“On April 17, I filed the petition in SHRC against the human shield incident. After admitting the petition, SHRC issued notice to SSP Budgam,” Untoo said adding “SSP Budgam has submitted detailed report to SHRC confirming that Farooq was used as a human shield by Army on February 9.”

After outrage over human shield incident, police and army have launched separate probes against Major Gogoi, who was recently awarded Chief of Army Staff's Commendation Card for sustained efforts in counter-insurgency operations.

According to Untoo, SHRC heard his petition on human shield incident on April 27 and asked SMHS hospital to conduct medical examination of the Dar and submit the report within a week.

"If the victim requires any treatment, it should be provided to him without any cost on the priority basis,” the SHRC had said.

Sources said according to medical report prepared by doctors of SMHS hospital, Farooq has been diagnosed with 'Acute Stress Disorder' by doctors.

Dar also underwent a medical checkup at the Government Psychiatric Diseases Hospital.

"Psychiatric consultation was done for features of anxiety/ stress which diagnosed him with ‘Acute Stress Disorder’ with Trauma Screening Questionnaire (TSQ) score of 8 out of 10," reads Dar’s medical report

It further states that the patient has a history of nightmares since the incident when he paraded as human shield in villages.

Untoo said he has filed two more petitions in SHRC yesterday -– one against Major Gogoi and another against three news channels for wrongly labeling Dar as stone pelter.

He questioned Major Gogoi’s press conference in which he defended using human shield and claimed that had he ordered firing, there would have been atleast 12 casualties.

"The case is sub judice and Gogoi’s statement violates rules," Untoo said.

The IFJHRJK chairman said he has also written to UNHRC and urged them to provide him legal expert, who could assist him legally in taking forward the case.

Meanwhile, separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik have expressed strong resentment over awarding of Major Gogoi and called peaceful protests after Friday prayers tomorrow against this “inhuman act”.

“Awarding and honouring Major Gogoi, who used a youth as a human shield, vindicates our stand that India is following fascist dogma and acting as a colonial state,” they said.

The separatist leaders urged International Court of Justice (ICJ) and Amnesty International to take cognizance of human shield incident and fulfill their responsibilities in saving precious lives in Jammu and Kashmir.

“Awarding an officer for inhuman and unjustified act vindicates our stand that forces are involved in war crimes and are patronized and encouraged by Indian leadership,” they said.

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