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Human shield video: Army orders CoI, to submit report next month

The Army had to order a probe following massive outrage after a video of the incident went viral on social media, drawing widespread condemnation.
Abid Bashir
Srinagar | Posted : Apr 21 2017 1:55AM | Updated: Apr 21 2017 12:15AM
Human shield video: Army orders CoI, to submit report next month
File Photo

The Army has ordered a Court of Inquiry into the controversial ‘human shield’ incident where a youth was tied to an army vehicle on the polling day in central Kashmir’s Budgam district on April 9.

Army’s Srinagar-based spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said the case is being investigated as the CoI has already been ordered.

The Army had to order a probe following massive outrage after a video of the incident went viral on social media, drawing widespread condemnation.

Farooq Ahmed from Budgam was tied to army jeep bonnet and paraded through a dozen villages amid announcement that “other stone-pelters will also meet the same fate.”

The Army was criticized for using the youth as a “human-shield.” The incident happened at village Chill Brass in Khan Sahab area of Budgam when voting for Srinagar-Budgam parliamentary constituency was on. 

The head of the CoI, according to sources, has been asked to hold the inquiry on “fast-track basis” and submit a detailed report early next month.  “The CoI will look into the circumstance that prompted an Army Major to tie the youth to the jeep's bonnet as a human shield,” they said.

Giving details, an Army officer based in New Delhi said the preliminary investigations have revealed that Major Leetul Gogoi of Army’s 53 RR was commanding the unit having three vehicles at its command, on April 9 in Budgam.

On the inquiry ordered, he said, the Army would complete it by next month as directed by the top officials. “We will also extend full cooperation to the police, which is also investigating the case,” the officer said.

Sources said during investigation, statements of J&K Police, paramilitary forces and election staff will be recorded.

Major Gogoi, 38, hails from rural Assam and was commissioned as a lieutenant in December 2008. The Army Service Corps (ASC) officer volunteered to serve with the Rashtriya Rifles in Kashmir.

The ASC provides logistics support, ranging from supplies to transport, to the army, sources said.