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It's Now Proven That Farooq Ahmad Dar Wasn't Pelting Stones, But Had Cast His Vote Before He Was Used As A Human Shield

The J&K police report said that Dar was picked up by the Army "during stone pelting, and was tied to the bonnet of a vehicle.

25/09/2017 2:01 PM IST | Updated 25/09/2017 2:07 PM IST
Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Embroidery artisan Farooq Ahmad Dar, who was used as a human shield by army, sits in his home in Chill.

Remember that tragic, heartbreaking image of a man tied to an Army jeep during the bye-election of the Srinagar parliamentary seat in April?

The Jammu and Kashmir police have confirmed that shawl maker Farooq Ahmad Dar had cast his vote in the ongoing elections, reports Greater Kashmir. It was moments after he had cast his vote that he was tied to the bonnet of the army jeep and paraded through several villages in Budgam district.

"During investigation, it came to surface that the victim Farooq Ahmad Dar cast his vote at a polling booth in his native village, Chill. After casting his vote, he along with Hilal Ahmad Magrey left for condolence meeting to Gampora," reads the police report, that was submitted by the Budgam district police to the state's director general of police in August.

Days after the incident, Major Leetul Gogoi of 53 Rashtriya Rifles tied Dar to the front of an army vehicle was awarded the Army Chief's Commendation Card for "sustained efforts" in counter insurgency operations, even as a probe is on regarding his role in the incident many see as a gross violation of human rights.

Meanwhile, Dar said that he is disappointed that the Indian army has awarded the officer responsible for committing what is widely considered a war crime under the 1949 Geneva Conventions, even as a probe into the incident is on. The 26-year-old told the Telegraph he is "shattered".

"I was wrong to expect any justice," he said, referring to the incident that has been criticised by a section of writers, human rights activists, media, and retired armymen, and hailed by others of the view that the young army officer took the right call in the face of mob violence and saved many lives.

The J&K police report said that Dar was picked up by the Army "during stone pelting, and was tied to the bonnet of a vehicle as human shield under threat".

While the army major Leetul Gogoi who had accused Dar of "instigating a stone-pelting mob" and claimed that he could have been their ring leader, the police report denies all of that.

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