T-shirts “dedicated” to Major Gogoi, who tied a Kashmiri man to his jeep as a human shield and was honoured by the Indian Army for his “innovative” action, sold out within hours of being launched on Thursday.
“New Day, New Design once again. & this is dedicated to Indian Army’s Hero Major Gogoi,” online retail store T-Shirt Bhaiya announced on Twitter Thursday while unveiling its line of “Indian Army” T-shirts featuring the Kashmiri human shield Farooq Ahmad Dar tied to the bonnet of Major Gogoi’s jeep.
“INDIAN ARMY SAVING YOUR ASS WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT,” reads the inscription on the T-shirts .
T-Shirt Bhaiya is owned by Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga, the spokesperson of Bharatiya Janata Party (Delhi unit).
“Stop stone pelting on our Army, We will stop making T-shirt(sic),” Bagga wrote on his Facebook page in response to the outrage caused by the T-shirts.
He said the T-shirts had sold out within hours of being launched and would be available for sale again on Tuesday.
Dar was unaware of the T-shirt design.
“I don’t know about any such t-shirts. But if I see them, it will further aggravate my pain,” Dar was quoted as saying by ScoopWhoop News. He added that it was still very difficult for him to come out of the trauma he underwent some months ago.
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 had claimed that he used Dar as a human shield to “save lives” after a convoy of forces escorting polling staff had come under stone-pelting , a claim refuted by Dar who said 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.”