New Delhi, April 14: A couple of days after a video sparked outrage showing two CRPF jawans being abused, slapped and kicked by a mob in Budgam, another online footage came to the fore which showed the Army using a man as ‘human shield’ on their jeep. The person who was used as the human shield was identified as Farooq Dar. On being questioned by local media whether he was held for stone pelting by the security forces, Dar replied, “I never participated in stone-pelting incidents”.
The video went viral on social media, with former Jammu & Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah leading the charge on behalf of aggrieved Kashmiris. The National Conference leader sought an immediate inquiry in the matter.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti expressed concern over the video, seeking a report from the police. Mehbooba assured that necessary action would be taken against those who have violated the law. 10 points:
- Indian Army says a probe has been called to investigate the incident of man being used as human shield. “In reference to the video showing a young man tied to an Army jeep, the contents of the video are being verified and investigated,” a defence spokesman said in Srinagar.
- “I definitely condemn the use of a civilian as shield,” said Lt Gen(R) BS Jaswal, Former Army Commander, Northern Command, while speaking to India Today. He further added that use of civilian shield is prohibited under international norms.
- “Although some may say that is an innovative technique which may save lives on both sides, I would condemn it as it is violation of rights. It is prohibited,” Lt Gen (retd) Jaswal added.
- Under the Statute of the International Criminal Court, “utilizing the presence of a civilian or other protected person to render certain points, areas or military forces immune from military operations” constitutes a war crime in international armed conflicts.
- 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.
- I understand the outrage the CRPF video generated. I’m also outraged that the video of the youth on the jeep won’t generate the same anger. Let’s see channels going ballistic and having discussions with outraged panelists now. Probably not since ‘Kashmir is ours’ hell with Kashmiris,” the former chief minister said.
- Omar asked Mehbooba to not to toe the line set by alliance partner BJP. He urged her to call an inquiry in the interest of Kashmir. “The state government should come out clear whether they oppose the use of human shields. And if they do, then action should be taken,” he said.
- The back-to-back emergence of videos came in the backdrop of disappointing bye-election in Kashmir’s Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency. Only 7.13 per cent polling was recorded, with over 200 instances of violence. 8 individuals were killed in retaliatory police action on the polling day.