The Indian Army Chief has honoured Major Nitin Leetul Gogoi who had tied a local Kashmiri youth in front of a jeep last month in Kashmir as a human shield to avoid attack from stone-pelters.
The Army has confirmed that he was awarded COAS (Chief of Army Staff) commendation for sustained efforts in counter-insurgency operations by Army Chief General Bipin Rawat as reported by IndiaToday.
On April 15 the Army had constituted a court of inquiry into the incident after the video clip went viral. According to security officials, the man was tied to prevent stone-pelters from targeting soldiers during the Srinagar Lok Sabha bypoll last month.
IndianExpress reported that Court of Inquiry’s report has been finalised, but is yet to be approved by the convening authority.
On 23rd May, Major Gogoi reveals “Why he tied Kashmiri man to his jeep as human shield”
“I did this only to save the local people. Had I fired there would have been more than 12 casualties….With this idea I have saved many people’s lives,” Major Gogoi of 53 Rashtriya Rifles told reporters.
- On April 9, he got a distress call from an ITBP team that around 1200 people have surrounded ITBP personnel and polling staff inside Utligam polling station where petrol bombs were also being hurled.
- Upon reaching the spot, he analysed the situation and start announcing to clear the way.
- But the crowd didn’t respond to any announcements.
- Then he alongwith team members seeking for alternative to make a way.
- He saw a short person standing close to him, appeared to be the ring leader. When they tried to catch him, he tried to ran away but failed.
- That Kashmiri Youth was used as a Human Shield. His name was Farooq Ahmed Dar. He had later on denied being a stone-pelter.
- After holding him, the Army team started walking towards the polling booth and rescued the staff.
- A video of the incident which happened during Srinagar by-polls had gone viral leading to an uproar. The Jammu and Kashmir Police had also registered an FIR against the security forces.
- On April 15 the Army had constituted a court of inquiry into the incident.
Source : IndiaToday