Srinagar, May 22: Major Nitin Leetul Gogoi, the Indian Army officer, who shot to fame after tying a man to a jeep and using him as a ‘human shield’, has been awarded the Army Chief Commendation Card for sustained efforts in operations in Kashmir.
Major Gogoi, the officer who took the extreme step got mixed reaction on the internet after the pictures and videos of the incident went viral on social media. The award has been given to Major Gogoi by Army Chief Bipin Rawat.
“Major Gogoi has been awarded Chief of Army Staff’s Commendation Card for sustained efforts in counter-insurgency operations,” Army spokesperson Aman Anand was quoted by DNA. The award was handed over to Major Gogoi during General Rawat’s recent visit to the Valley.
People with civil societies denounced his move to use a human being to stop stone-pelters, while veterans hailed the move as one that prevented violence in the Valley.
As soon as the video was posted on social media by former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister the video became a topic of debate. The man identified as Farooq Ahmad Dar was tied to the vehicle after casting his vote during Jammu and Kashmir bye-elections. Also Read – Major Leetul Gogoi, officer who tied protester to jeep in Kashmir, honoured by Army Chief Bipin Rawat
Farooq Ahmad Dar had alleged that he was paraded for 26 km allegedly to keep stone-pelters at bay. He said, “I cannot believe that I am alive. The army officials first thrashed me and then tied me to the bonnet of the jeep and carried me through several villages.”
Major Gogoi was also praised by Major General Gagandeep Bakshi, who wrote several lines on his Facebook wall and appreciated the efforts taken by him.
General Bakshi wrote, “They are screaming for the scalp of that young Major Gogoi who tied a stone pelter on his jeep. I think in retrospect that the boy did some out-of-the-box thinking and saved lives on both sides. The standard military solution would have been to shoot the pelters dead. He was authorised to but for some reason, our boys seem hesitant to shoot- what with this constant Human rights tamasha. An operation is judged by its end results. He was able to rescue the ITBP boys who were surrounded by a bloodthirsty mob. He seized the stone pelter used him as a hostage to get safe passage for his column. The Israelis do it routinely. Why can’t we do it? This way no military or civilian personnel was killed. You can always apprehend a stone pelter for interrogation about his links and take him to your post.”
On the other side several leaders from Congress criticised the action but newly appointed Punjab Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh praised Major Gogoi for showing an amazing presence of mind in extreme pressure situation.