Honour for Major Gogoi: 'Was I an animal?' questions Kashmiri man tied to jeep
Srinagar, May 23: After Major Leetul Gogoi of 53 Rashtriya Rifles was awarded the Army Chief's Commendation Card on Monday, his "victim" Farooq Ahmad Dar, a 26-year-old Kashmiri man, has a message for his "abuser".
Dar is the man, who was used as a human shield by Major Gogoi, to ward off stone pelters in Badgam, Jammu and Kashmir, last month. The video of Dar tied to the bonnet of an army jeep with a placard shocked many across the country.
However, many, including defence experts and politicians, have hailed Major Gogoi for adopting "non-violent" measures to fight stone pelting in the Valley.
Dar after learning the news of honour bestowed on Major Gogoi, told The Telegraph, "I am shattered. I was wrong to expect any justice."
Dar, who works as an embroidery artisan, questioning the army official who decided to reward the major, said, "If his son faces a similar treatment at the hands of the officer, I would see whether he will still reward him."
"I want to ask only one thing, was I an animal that I was tied and exhibited," Dar was quoted as saying by the Hindustan Times.
Even after the passage of more than a month since the incident took place on April 9, Dar is said to be still suffering from physical and mental trauma.
Speaking to reporters after the incident, Dar said that he was not a stone pelter. The resident of Chil village in Beerwah sub-district said he was caught by the army after he went to cast his vote in the Srinagar Lok Sabha bypolls. He added, "I thrashed severely with gun butts and wooden sticks and in an almost unconscious state tied to the front of the jeep and paraded."
The commendation card for Major Gogoi was given for "sustained efforts" in counter insurgency operations, Army officials said. However, Major Gogoi was not honoured for the human shield incident. In fact, the army is conducting an internal probe into the human shield episode for allegedly violating the 1949 Geneva Conventions.