A Kashmiri man used as a human shield by the Indian Army earlier this year and another tortured by the Army were part of a protest in Srinagar on Saturday against rights violations by forces on the eve of World Human Rights Day.
Farooq Ahmad Dar, a resident of Budgam, was used as a human shield and paraded through several villages of the central Kashmir district by Major Gogoi during the bypoll to the Srinagar Lok Sabha seat on April 9.
Gogoi, who was honoured by the Indian army for his “innovative action,” had claimed that Dar was “instigating” a stone-throwing mob and could have been their “ring leader.”
A report by the Jammu and Kashmir police in September, however, confirmed Dar’s claim that he had gone out to vote and was not throwing stones when Gogoi kidnapped and thrashed him and paraded him through several villages tied to the bonnet of his jeep.
Gogoi was hailed as a “hero” by sections of the Indian media who flashed pictures of Dar tied to the bonnet of Gogoi’s jeep referring to the Kashmiri man as ‘coward’ and ‘stone pelter’.
The army was not cooperating in the probe and has not provided the names of its personnel who used Dar as a human shield despite repeated reminders by the police, the government recently told the high court.
Dar said he will never be able to forget what the army had done to him.
“Every day I move out of my house, I think of what happened that day. I am tired,” he was quoted as saying by local media.
Nasrullah Khan, who says he was tortured by the army on August 31, also took part in the protest.
Khan said he and his friend Manzoor were mercilessly beaten up by the forces at Lolab, Kupwara.
Manzoor, according to a petition filed by his brother in the high court, is being illegally held by the Army.
(Pictures by Zargar Zahoor)