Srinagar, Apr 15: After the video showing a man tied to the bonnet of a moving Army jeep, to warn the stone pelters in Kashmir did the rounds of social media, the youth tied on the bonnet of the Army jeep has been identified as Farooq Ahmed Dar, a 26-year-old who works as an embroiderer of shawls. The video that went viral on Friday shows Dar tied to the bonnet of a moving army jeep followed by a truck with the army warning the stone pelters that they will face a similar fate if stones are pelted on the Indian Army.
The video shared by many on social media sites including former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah mounted outrage, after which Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti sought a report of the incident from the police. The Indian Army has claimed that a probe has been called to investigate the entire incident.
However, after being questioned by the local media about his involvement in stone pelting, Dar said that “I never participated in stone-pelting incidents.” A report published in The Indian Express, claims that on April 9, Dar was paraded for nearly four hours and he was driven around 25 km from Utligam to Sonpa, Najan, Chakpora, Hanjiguroo, Rawalporam Khospora, Arizal and finally the jeep made its halt at the CRPF camp of Hardpanzoo.
The incident of April 9
According to the report, while on his way to Gampora, to attend the rituals of a relative who had died, Dar was riding his motorcycle when he stopped near Utligam after seeing women protesting against the byelections. Dar claims that it was then when the army caught him, beat him up and paraded him across nine villages.
“I was tied to the front of the jeep. On my chest, a white paper was tucked under the rope. I could only see my name written on it,” Dar said, further adding that “On the way, soldiers were shouting to people, ‘come throw stones at one of your own’. People were running away. They were scared. I was told not to utter a word to anyone or they would shoot me.”
The report further says that the women protesting against the by-elections tried to rescue Dar from being tied at the Army jeep, but the army fired in the air after which the women fled away.Tying him on the Army jeep, Dar was announced to be a stone-pelter adding that others will face a similar fate if they continued pelting stones. (Also Read: Man tied as ‘human shield’ on military jeep identified, Army orders probe, Mehbooba Mufti seeks report: 10 points)
The report further says that the Army later took him to the Rashtriya Rifles camp in Raiyari and after keeping Dar at the RR for around three hours, he was finally released to Bashir Ahmad Magray, the village sarpanch.
We are poor, we won’t complain
The report further says that Dar has been shocked after the incident adding that he will not file any complaint. “Gareeb log hain, kya karengey complain,” Dar says. Fearing for Dar his mother Fazie said that they will not complain against the army as she does not want to lose her son.
The video that went viral led to outrage and earlier in the day, Omar Abdullah launched a tirade on social media, lashing out the muted response from twitter handles which are highly vocal on nationalistic issues. “Where is all the outrage of social media now. Is a Kashmiri not an Indian?” he said.
Addressing the media, Army spokesperson Colonel Rajesh Kalia said, “The contents of the video are being verified and investigated.” The video of Dar being tied on the army jeep comes two days after a video sparked outrage showing two CRPF jawans being abused, slapped and kicked by a mob in Budgam.