Outrage at India award for 'human shield' soldier

2017-05-23 21:58
(Mukhtar Khan, AP)

(Mukhtar Khan, AP)

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Srinagar - The Indian army has commended an officer accused of tying a man to a jeep and using him as a human shield in Kashmir, sparking outrage from the victim and rights activists.

Major Leetul Gogoi, who is still under investigation for strapping 26-year-old Farooq Ahmad Dar to the front of an army vehicle as it led a convoy in Indian-administered Kashmir, was awarded the Chief of Army Staff's Commendation Card "for his for sustained efforts in counter-insurgency operations".

"This has been given to Major Leetul Gogoi, who has been deployed in counter-insurgency operations for more than one year," said army spokesperson Aman Anand.

"It has been given for his sustained efforts over a period of time".

Oppression and injustice

Video footage showing Dar bound to the jeep last month was widely shared, and caused a public outcry in the restive Himalayan region. The incident came amid days of violent clashes between security forces and stone-throwing young men protesting a by-election, which left at least eight people killed and more than 200 wounded. 

Dar said on Tuesday the six-hour ordeal had left him traumatised and unable to continue his work as a shawl weaver. 

He said the award showed that the Indian army "supports oppression and injustice".

"My arms, legs and my whole body still hurt even after more than a month," he said. "I have not been able to recover from that shock".


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