A police report has confirmed what Kashmiri human shield Farooq Ahmad Dar had been saying all along— that he had gone out to vote and was not throwing stones when the Indian Army’s Major Gogoi kidnapped and thrashed him and paraded him through several villages tied to the bonnet of his jeep in April this year.
A day after he was honoured by the Army with a commendation card for his “innovative action,” Gogoi had claimed that Dar was “instigating” a stone-throwing mob and could have been their “ring leader.”
Gogoi had further claimed that he had tied Dar to the bonnet of his jeep to save lives after his convoy came under heavy stone pelting in Budgam on the day of by-polls .
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’.
“During investigation, it came to surface that the victim Farooq Ahmad Dar cast his vote at polling booth in his native village, Chill. After casting his vote, he along with Hilal Ahmad Magrey left for condolence meeting to Gampora,” the police report says.
He was picked up by the Army as he reached Ultigam crossing, tied to bonnet of the Army vehicle “as human shield under threat, kept under wrongful confinement and paraded/moved around within the area,” the report says.
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.
Dar had maintained all along that he had gone to vote and was picked up by the army, beaten up and tied to the jeep in an “almost unconscious state.”
Notwithstanding the massive outrage caused by the incident in Kashmir, Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat had justified Gogoi’s “innovative” action and honoured him with a ‘Commendation Card.’
The State Human Rights Commission had directed the Jammu and Kashmir government to pay Rs 10 lakh as compensation to Dar and said he was “subjected to torture and humilitaion, besides being wrongly confined.”