The National Human Rights Commission has asked the Defence Ministry to submit a report on the actions taken in the Kashmir human shield case, PTI reported on Friday. In a letter to the ministry sent last month, the NHRC has given it four weeks’ time to submit the report.
“It is requested that an action taken report be sent to the commission within four weeks of the receipt of this letter,” reads the letter sent to the secretary of the Ministry of Defence. However, there are contrasting reports on when the letter was issued. While some said the commission had sent the letter on May 8, another report claimed it was issued on May 24.
The NHRC issued the letter after Odisha-based NGO Civil Society Forum for Human Rights and activist Angad on April 17 lodged a complaint of human rights violations. “We are demanding that the young man [who was allegedly used by the Indian Army as a human shield] be given compensation and action be taken against the Army,” said Angad, according to The Indian Express.
The Indian Army had tied a man, Farooq Dar, to a jeep and used him as a human shield from people protesting outside a polling booth in April, during the Srinagar bye-polls. A video of the incident was shared on social media and caused a furore in the country. The move drew widespread criticism from human rights activists and Kashmiri Groups, among others.
On May 24, accused Major Leetul Gogoi was felicitated and he was given a commendation card for his “sustained efforts” against counter-insurgency. Gogoi had told reporters that Dar was instigating a crowd of stone-pelters, and that he had saved the lives of his team members by deciding to use him as a human shield. The Indian Army, however, has maintained that the inquiry against Gogoi was still under way.