Tahlka News Bureau
New Delhi: Major Leetul Gogoi, an Army officer who tied the Kashmiri man to the front of his jeep as a human-shield in order to avoid the stone-pelters protesting in Jammu and Kashmir has been awarded a medal of Commendation in April by Army Chief Bipin Rawat for his sustained efforts on counter-insurgency operations.
The video of the man being tied to the bonnet of an Army patrolling jeep went viral in April, during the time of the by-polls in the valley was shared by Jammy and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah criticizing the act as in-human. National Conference spokesperson Junaid Mattu said that the jeep was being driven as part of a convoy by the security forces in Gundipora, Beewrah.
The Army had to face several criticism on social media, with some reports saying that the act was constituted a war crime. Later, the man seen in the video tied to the front of the Army jeep was identified as Farooq Dar. Whereas the army unit involved in the act was identified as officers from 53 Rashtriya Rifels.
Farood Dar however, denied being a stone-pelter and said in statement that, "Never in my life I have thrown stones. I am a worker who knows some carpentry and embroidery. This is what I do."
The incident became a huge part of debate across India and Jammu and Kashmir after which Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had asked for a detailed version of the incident from the state police and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh saying that they will look into the matter.
Reacting to the incident, the local Police filed a First Information Report (FIR) against the army, while the armed forces ordered its own initial inquiry.
The incident triggered a huge debate, with Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi saying that the army works in different conditions and one cannot criticize them by "sitting in air-conditioned rooms".
Army Veteran's reacted to the video of the incident in which the army is heard announcing "this is how stone pelters will be dealt with" will haunt them forever. Former Lt General HS Panag, went ahead and said that the image will "end up being the defending image of the Indian Army, just like the picture of Napalm girl clicked during the Vietnam war".