SRINAGAR: Separatists have called for peaceful protests in Kashmir tomorrow against the "inhuman act" of an Army officer tying a man to a jeep as a human shield against stone-pelters and then honouring him. Three major separatist groups -- hardline Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani, moderate Hurriyat Conference headed by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and JKLF led by Yasin Malik -- issued a joint statement here today calling for the protests.
Major Leetul Gogoi had tied a man to his jeep as a human shield against a large mob of stone-pelters who had surrounded a polling booth in Budgam district during bypoll to Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency on April 9.
Gogoi has said that he had to rescue some paramilitary personnel and polling staff and by his act, many lives were saved as, otherwise, he would have been forced to order firing. Earlier this week, Gogoi got a commendation card from the Army chief for his action. "Awarding erring officer for this inhuman and unjustified act vindicates our claim that forces are involved in war crimes and are patronized and encouraged by Indian leadership," the joint statement of the separatists said.
They said that awarding the Major tantamounts to "justifying the human rights violations" and sending a clear message to the people that "they can go to any extent without any apprehension of accountability".
The separatist groups also appealed to human rights organisations, the International Court of Justice and Amnesty International to take cognizance of the incident and "fulfill their responsibilities in saving precious lives" in the state.