Indian army awards officer who tied Kashmiri youth to a jeep as human shield

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.

Related article: Video of Kashmiri youth tied to Indian Army jeep as ‘warning to stone pelters’ sparks outrage

“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.

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