The Army on Monday dismissed a report that said the major who was accused of tying a man to his jeep in Jammu and Kashmir’s Budgam, ostensibly to prevent stone-pelters from attacking the security forces, had been exonerated. The report had quoted unidentified officials and said Major Nitin Gogoi of the 53 Rashtriya Rifles had even been commended for his presence of mind.
“The Court of Inquiry concerned with the incident wherein a civilian was tied to an Army jeep is still incomplete. Reports in some sections of the media of the Major being given a clean chit are speculative,” a statement issued by the Army said.
The Army had set up a Court of Inquiry on April 20, days after video of the civilian, Farooq Ahmed Dar, being used as a human shield surfaced. Jammu and Kashmir police had also filed a First Information Report on the matter. The Court of Inquiry is yet to complete its investigation, Defence Public Relations Office Aman Anand told The Quint.
“It is impropriate to speculate on the findings of the inquiry based on information given by unverified sources. May I request that the journalist be advised to corroborate factual information from official sources when reporting on sensitive military issues and this news report may, therefore, accordingly be corrected,” the PRO told the digital daily.
The official in the original report had said “not even disciplinary actions were recommended against the officer” and that he was congratulated on his “acumen”.
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. Qadir said he was let off by the security personnel after he showed his government service card, but, the officers had beaten up Dar and later tied him to the Army vehicle.