'Human Shield' Case: Rights Body To Hear Appeal Against State Government

The Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission in July awarded a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to Farooq Ahmad Dar, who was tied as a "human shield" to an Army jeep. However, in its reply, the state government said the empowered committee of the government examined the order of the rights panel and observed the grounds on which the compensation was recommended "cannot be accepted."

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'Human Shield' Case: Rights Body To Hear Appeal Against State Government

A video showing Farooq Ahmad Dar tied to a jeep created outrage in April (File photo)

Srinagar:  The Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) will next month hear an appeal against state government's refusal to act on the commission order awarding Rs 10-lakh compensation to Farooq Ahmad Dar, who was used as a "human shield" by an Army officer earlier this year.

The SHRC chairman, Justice (rtd) Bilal Nazki, yesterday heard the appeal filed by Mr Dar, against the government's decision to not act on the earlier recommendation of the commission.

Justice Nazki listed the matter for final arguments before a division bench of the commission on December 12 and ordered the state government to clear its stand by that date.

A video that surfaced in April showing Mr Dar tied to the bonnet of an Army vehicle evoked sharp reactions from the civil society. He was taken around 19 villages in Budgam district during a Lok Sabha bypoll, purportedly as a shield against the stonepelters.

However, the Army backed the officer who tied Mr Dar, and honoured him with the Army chiefs Commendation Card for his sustained efforts in counter-insurgency operations. The officer said he took the step to save the local people.

The Army's claims that Mr Dar was among the stone pelters was not substantiated by local police officials, who established Mr Dar's statement that he was on his way to another village before he was tied to the jeep. 

The SHRC in July awarded a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to Mr Dar. However, in its reply, the state government said the empowered committee of the government examined the order of the rights panel and observed the grounds on which the compensation was recommended "cannot be accepted." 

"That pending completion of the investigation in the matter, the recommendation with regard to payment of compensation to the complainant (Dar), shall tantamount to establish the guilt of the accused without affording him an opportunity of being heard," the reply maintained.

The government also said there was "no scheme or policy in vogue in the state, which could cover the payment of compensation" in such matters.

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