In occupied Kashmir, a group of eminent citizens has said that the strapping of a civilian by an Indian Army officer to his jeep has brought India’s human rights record to a new low and the efforts to legitimise the act was condemnable.
On April 9, a video clip of a man — later identified as Farooq Ahmad Dar — trussed up to an army jeep’s bonnet in Budgam went viral, leading to an uproar.
The group of 22 prominent citizens including former High Court judge, Shabbir Hasnain Masoodi and former Chairman of Public Service Commission, Mohammad Shafi Pandit, in a statement issued in Srinagar lashed out at the silence of the puppet administration particularly the so-called Chief Minister on the issue.
The group said that they had petitioned Indian President, Pranab Mukherjee, seeking an end to the human rights violations in the territory.
Describing it as a dastardly act which was totally unjustifiable, the group said, “It is against human dignity, offends core constitutional values and violates international covenants, to which India is a signatory.”
The statement said that it was painful and shocking that instead of expediting the Court of Inquiry proceedings ordered against the officer and the investigation in FIR registered by police against him, the officer had been decorated with an award and was applauded by Indian Defence Minister.
The group said that awarding the officer before conclusion of the Court of Inquiry and police investigation was unfair and grossly inappropriate. “Those who have decided to confer the award have done no good to Indian Army or people of India but widened the gulf between them and the people of Kashmir,” it maintained.
Meanwhile, the General Secretary of Dukhtaran-e-Millat, Nahida Nasreen, in her statement in Srinagar said that the Indian army’s decision to award its Major for using a Kashmiri civilian as human shield was nothing new and that India had been awarding such officers for last 70 years for committing crimes against the Kashmiris.
She said, “We have been witnessing as to how infamous army personnel and police officers who spilled blood of innocent Kashmiris were promoted to higher positions and were rewarded as well.”—KMS