Major Leetul Gogoi, who is accused of using an alleged stone-pelter as a human sheild in Kashmir valley, was awarded the Army's chief recommendation yesterday for 'sustained efforts' in counter-insurgency operations.
The civilian identified as Farooq Dar, a shawl artisan and not a stone-pelter,is dejected. "I am shattered. I was wrong to expect any justice," Dar said to The Telegraph.
He reiterated that he was not a stone pelter and was in fact, one of the very few who had cast their vote.
Dar questioned the person who rewarded the major: "If his son faces a similar treatment at the hands of the officer, I would see whether he will still reward him."
Gogoi was accused of tying up of a civilian to the army jeep to ward off stone pelters in the valley during the violence-hit Srinagar by-polls. According to the 1949 Geneva Conventions, he committed a war crime. The Indian army officer continues to be under probe for the incident he is now honoured for.
During investigation, Dar said he was out to cast his vote and later visit his sister's house, where a bereavement had taken place, to offer condolences.
The same day Gogoi was awarded with the privileged recommendation, actor and BJP Parliamentarian tweeted his opinion of tying writer-author Arundhati Roy as a human shield. Booker Prize winner Roy’s causes have all landed her in conflict with the Hindu Right that freely bandies the phrase ‘anti-national’.
A video in which a man is seen tied to an army jeep, allegedly as a human shield against stone-pelting, was circulated two days after another video of a CRPF Jawan being heckled and hit by a mob in Budgam district in Kashmir went viral, provoking the ire of many.
Many presumed Dar to be a stone-pelter and applauded the army for tying him to he jeep as a lesson to 'fellow stone-pelters', while others called the act a gross violation of human rights.
Dar told investigators that after exercising his right to vote, he was proceeding towards his sister's village when he was caught by the army personnel who wanted to enter Beerwah village along with the polling staff, the officials said.
He was tied to a jeep as the army moved into the village along with a convoy of jawans and some polling staff, they said. The civilian said that he was released after he was paraded in 10 to 12 village.