In July the state government was directed by J&K State Human Rights Commission chairperson Justice Bilal Nazki to give the compensation amount to Dar. The rights panel in its order had refused to direct the Army in the case, saying it did not have jurisdiction over the force.
In its reply to the human rights panel, the J&K government said that there was “no scheme or policy in vogue in the state, which could cover the payment of compensation” in such matters.
The state government observed that the grounds on which compensation was recommended “cannot be accepted”. The J&K government has also questioned the SHRC’s jurisdiction to decide on the matter.
It also said that as per its duty, it has registered an FIR in this matter in the Beerwah police station and consequently initiating the investigation.
“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 government reply said. The response will be placed before Nazki on November 13.
On April 9 when bypolls to Srinagar-Budgam parliamentary seat was held, Dar was tied to the bonnet of an Army vehicle and taken around 19 villages in Budgam, purportedly as a shield against stone pelters. 27-year-old Farooq Ahmad Dar, is an embroidery artisan.
The human shield incident elicited sharp reactions in the Valley. However, the Army backed Major Leetul Gogoi, who had tied Dar, and honoured with him with the Army chief’s ‘Commendation Card’ for his ‘sustained efforts’ in counter-insurgency operations.
Following the outrage, Jammu and Kashmir police had registered an FIR against the army officer Major Gogoi. After a petition was filed in the commission, the SHRC took up hearing of the case.
Dar who had denied the army’s allegation and said he was one of the few who cast his vote that day, said he was hopeful that one day he would be honoured with justice.