Major who tied JK civilian to jeep as ‘human shield’ awarded

A video, showing the man tied to the army vehicle during polling in the Srinagar Lok Sabha by-election on April 9, had triggered a public outcry, prompting the Army to institute a probe.

Published: 22nd May 2017 08:22 PM  |   Last Updated: 23rd May 2017 03:42 AM   |  A+A-

An Army Major had tied a Kashmiri man to a jeep. (Twitter|@abdullah_omar)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Major Leetul Gogoi, who had tied  a local youth from Srinagar to the bonnet of an Army jeep as ‘human shield’ from stone pelters,  was awarded Chief of Army Staff’s Commendation Card for “sustained efforts” during counter-insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir.

Gogoi was awarded for showing presence of mind and quick thinking, thereby saving many lives when a team of election officials was surrounded by a mob pelting stones.

An Army official said that the decision to give the Commendation Card was taken during Army chief General Bipin Rawat’s visit to Srinagar last week and Gogoi was conferred the appreciation letter through normal command channels.

Gogoi is serving as an officer in 53 Rashtriya Rifles. His act of tying Farooq Ahmad Dar, a shawl weaver, drew flak from various political parties and others. A Court of Inquiry was initiated by the Army into the incident days later, but the findings are yet to be released.

The incident occurred on April 9 during the by-election for the Srinagar-Budgam parliamentary constituency. Incidentally, Dar had gone to cast his vote that day. Responding to the distress call by the officials, Gogoi had rushed to the site and brought out at least 11 persons, including a few para-military personnel, in a convoy after tying Dar to the jeep.    

When the video of this action went viral, the Army and the officer concerned came under severe criticism. Former chief minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah was one of the most vociferous critics.  

The Army and the government had supported Gogoi. Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, defended the action by claiming the action helped the Army save the poll officials. “Everyday people are dying. It’s a surcharged atmosphere. The Army is dealing with terrorists not with protesters, so they will have to be dealt with,” said Rohatgi.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp