Pak condemns commendation award to Major Gogoi
Islamabad, May 25: Pakistan on Thursday condemned the Indian Army chief's Commendation Card to an officer involved in tying up a Kashmiri man to a jeep as human shield.
"Awarding Major Leetul Gogoi, who brazenly used a Kashmiri youth as a human shield, is condemnable. It is a crime and an insult to humanity," Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria told media during the weekly briefing.
The Commendation Card for Major Gogoi of 53 Rashtriya Rifles was given for his 'sustained efforts' in counter-insurgency operations, the Indian Army had said.
Zakaria said that it was not the first time that the Indian forces have displayed such 'cowardice and inhumanity'.
Accusing the Indian forces of being involved in acts of 'grave violence against civilians', Zakaria also urged the international community, particularly the United Nations, to take cognizance of the act.
On May 22, Major Gogoi was awarded the medal for counter-insurgency operations by COAS for sustained efforts in counter insurgency operations.
Army officials did not say if the human shield incident had anything to do with the award.
A video, shot on April 9 during the Srinagar by-polls held amid violent incidents, showed a man, later identified as Farooq Ahmad Dar, being tied to the bonnet of an army jeep with a placard in Badgam of Jammu and Kashmir.
The video had gone viral, sparking anger on social media. In the video, the army is heard announcing 'this is how stone throwers will be dealt with'.The security forces had maintained that it was purely an act of defence.
While many have denounced his move to use a human shield, many in the Defence establishment have hailed the move as one that prevented violence in the Valley.
On April 15, the Army constituted a court of inquiry in the incident, and a report is pending. Meanwhile, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley, referring to the incident on Friday, had backed the officer, saying it should not be forgotten that the officer had responsibility to save the lives of those involved in the election process as well as the crowd that had gathered. Gogoi also got support from both serving and former Army officers.