Srinagar, May 24: Farooq Ahmad Dar, the alleged stone pelter who was tied to Army jeep by Major Leetul Gogoi in Budgam as a ‘human shield’, filed a complaint with the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC). The matter would be taken up for hearing by the SHRC on June 5, claims report. The SHRC has sought a detailed report from the Jammu & Kashmir police.
According to Major Gogoi, Dar was the ringleader of a mob of 1200 people who had gathered outside a police station in Budgam to burn it down. In a bid to save lives, the officer decided to apprehend Dar and use him as a human shield. “My decision saved several lives. The mob was deterred from throwing petrol bombs,” Major Gogoi said in his defence on Tuesday.
“If we would had decided to shoot instead of tying the stone pelter to the jeep, then it would had led to casualties… There were women and children too among the mob,” added Major Gogoi, who is in charge of 53 Rashtriya Rifles.
However, Dar contradicted the claims made by the Army officer, saying he has “never” indulged in stone pelting. According to Dar, he went out on the day to cast his votes in Budgam, and subsequently decided to visit a funeral in the neighbouring village.
Dar has registered an FIR with the Beerwah police station against Major Gogoi. The complaint was registered under sections 342, 367, 506 of RPC.
The complaint to SHRC, on behalf of Dar, was filed by Mohammad Ahsan Untoo, the chairman of International Forum For Justice and Human Rights.
Apart from Major Gogoi, the human rights group also filed complaints against television channels – Times Now, India Today and Republic TV for referring to Dar as a stone pelter.
“I was not a stone pelter. I had went to attend the funeral. What wrong had I done to be treated to like an animal,” Dar said, after the Army awarded Major Gogoi with the COAS commendation card. He further added that the mental trauma caused due to incident makes him weary to move out alone.
According to Untoo, Major Gogoi’s claim of using Dar as a human shield to avert casualties is incorrect. “The area from where the civilian was tied to the bonnet of the army vehicle had not witnessed any stone-pelting,” he was quoted as saying by First Post.