The Army on Thursday ordered a court of inquiry into the controversial “human shield” incident in Jammu and Kashmir’s Budgam district, The Times of India reported. The Army also told the Supreme Court that it could not be subjected to a First Information Report for its operations, PTI reported. The military’s statements follow an FIR which was filed against it for allegedly tying a man to a jeep and using him as a “human shield” against stone-pelters in Jammu and Kashmir, NDTV had reported.
The security personnel responsible may face charges of kidnapping and endangering the man’s life, the news channel reported, quoting unidentified officials. Reports had claimed that the man, who was later identified as Farooq Dar, was used as a “human shield” against stone-pelters in Budgam district’s Beerwah during the bye-elections in Srinagar on April 9.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had called the video “disturbing” and “unacceptable” and sought a report from police. “The contents of the video are being verified and investigated,” a defence spokesperson in Srinagar had said, Outlook reported.
The vehicle seen in the clip belongs to the 53 Rashtriya Rifles. Dar’s brother Ghulam Qadir had told Scroll.in that on April 9, the two were on their way to Gampora village on their motorbike to attend a condolence meeting at their sister’s house when the Army patrol had picked them up. Ghulam Qadir had said he was let off by the security personnel after he showed his government service card, but, the officers had beaten up Farooq Dar and later tied him to the Army vehicle.
Ghulam Qadir alleged that Farooq Dar’s left arm was injured, and besides seizing their mobile phone, the Army personnel had also damaged their motorbike. As the Army jeep patrolled the streets of Kashmir, a note pinned on Farooq Dar’s chest allegedly warned people that this “would be the fate of stone-pelters”.
The video went viral on social media and invited widespread condemnation.