Kashmir human shield: Police furnish evidence, charge army with intimidation, wrongful confinement

The Jammu and Kashmir police have furnished evidence to the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) charging the Indian Army of wrongful confinement, and for endangering the life of 26-year-old Farooq Ahmad Dar, by tying him to the bonnet of an army jeep and parading him on the roads on 9 April.

The police report, filed before the SHRC, has come in response to notices that were served to the state government by the commission after a petition was filed by a human rights activist seeking action in a series of videos that have surfaced about excesses being committed by armed forces on the youth.

Farooq Ahmad Dar being used as a human shield in Kashmir. Image courtesy: YouTube

Farooq Ahmad Dar being used as a human shield in Kashmir. Image courtesy: YouTube

The petition was filed by the chairman of the International Forum for Justice and Human Rights (IFJHR), Mohammad Ahsan Untoo. The commission has also sought reports in other videos which have surfaced, including a one in which paramilitary force personnel shoot dead a youth while he was pelting stones at a polling station, as well as one that shows a youngster being thrashed by the armed forces.

As per the report submitted by the police before the commission, statements of the witnesses have been recorded. A senior police offiical said that witnesses have testified against the army, that they saw the youth being tied to the army vehicle. "The youth, after attending the condolence meeting, reached the Utligam crossing point where from he was lifted by the army during stone pelting, and was tied to the bonnet of the vehicle as a human shield. He was kept under wrongful confinement and was paraded on the roads before he was released," noted the police report.

Dar, who is now undergoing treatment at the SMHS hospital in Srinagar, said that after he attended the condolence meeting of one of his relatives on polling day, he was forcibly tied to an army vehicle and was detained at the camp before being released.

His medical treatment notes that it was a case of "definitive diagnosis of acute stress disorder". A disheveled looking Dar said, "I still feel like I'm being tied to the jeep. I am under treatment, but I feel depressed after being tied to the jeep all day and all night."

The police report mentioned that Dar was tied to a Rakshak army vehicle with ropes, followed by a Casper, and was kept in wrongful confinement. A case has been registered against the Indian Army under sections 342, 367 and 506 of the RPC. The police have also furnished evidence of seven witnesses in the case who have stated that they saw Dar being tied to the army vehicle.

Untoo said the SHRC has directed the medical examination of the victim be carried out, and the report be put up before it. "I visited the family of the Beerwah youth who was shot dead by paramilitary personnel, and collected evidence to file a petition before the SHRC. I have sought action against the forces who are innvolved in the case and have been identified in other videos as well, including one in which a youth was ruthlessly beaten up," he said.

He added that Dar was tied to the army vehicle and paraded through 28 villages and the innvolvment of the army unit has been established. However, he added that if the army unit was identified, "the arrest should have been made immediately".

"The victim has been made a human shield and there is every apprehension that harm may be caused to him, so that the case is not pursued. Besides ensuring his protection, it should be the responsibility of the government to compensate him," he said.

As per the police report, they have written to the army to identify the personnel involved in the incident. "During investigation, correspondence has been made with army for identification of involved army party and vehicles," read the report submitted by senior superintendent of police, Budgam, to the SHRC.

The SHRC has noted that incident of the youth being used as human shield against the stone pelters is a gross violation of human rights and the person "would have suffered mental, psychological and physical humilitation'' and must be in a state of shock.

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Updated Date: Apr 29, 2017 16:04:07 IST

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