PKonweb Report — The Indian army has awarded commendation card to Major Nitin Gogoi who had tied a Kashmiri youth to a military jeep as human shield last month.
“Major Gogoi, the officer who tied protester to jeep as human shield in J&K awarded by COAS for sustained efforts in counter insurgency operations,” tweeted Indian news agency ANI.
The incident, which took place on April 9 this year, surfaced through a video clip that was circulating on social media. The video went viral within hours and sparked overwhelming protests and violence across the India-held Kashmir.
Following the condemnations and outrage, the Indian army announced that the incident was being investigated. Indian Army spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said in a statement that the video was being examined.
“The contents of the video are being verified and investigated,” he said.
The state’s chief minister, Mehbooba Mufti, claimed that a First Information Report (FIR) was also lodged at a local police station against the army unit. She sought a detailed report from the state police.
Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh said he will look into it.
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah tweeted the video, noting that: “A warning can be heard saying that stone pelters [in held Kashmir] will meet this fate. This requires an urgent inquiry and follow up now.”
However, in response to the condemnations, India’s Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi disapproved of growing criticism of a human shield the army used to thwart stone-pelting protesters in Indian-held Kashmir.
“The recent report about a stone pelter tied to an Army vehicle, it helped contain stone pelters and saved the poll officials. Why so much noise,” Mr Rohatgi said.
“Everyday people are dying. It’s a surcharged atmosphere. The Army is dealing with terrorists not with protesters, so they will have to be dealt with…everyone should look at the Army with pride, they are doing a great job.”
According to media reports, the officer was awarded for his “sustained efforts” in counterinsurgency. Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat awarded Maj Gogoi of Rashtriya Rifles branch with a commendation card, the report said.