Year After “Human Shield” Incident, Kashmir Man Farooq Ahmed Dar Claims Boycott By Village

The video of Farooq Ahmed Dar, tied to the bonnet of the Major Leetul Gogoi’s jeep had gone viral

Srinagar/New Delhi:  An embroidery artisan till a year ago when he was propped on a jeep by as a “human shield” by soldiers against stone-pelters, Farooq Ahmed Dar says he is a broken man, shunned by neighbours, struggling to pick up the threads of his life.

Boycotted by villagers branding him a government agent and chastising him for going to vote, he says he is suffering from insomnia and depression. Unable to find a job, even as a manual labourer, the 28-year-old says his life was upended exactly 12 months ago.

On April 9 last year, a team led by Major Leetul Gogoi tied Farooq Ahmed Dar to the bonnet of an army jeep to escape stone throwing in central Kashmir’s Budgam district. The image went on to make headlines and put civilian-security ties in the valley in the spotlight.

It was election day in the Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency and Farooq Ahmed Dar says he was on his way to cast his vote, braving the boycott call by separatist organisations. Eight people were killed in police firing on the day.

Investigations by central agencies and the local police backed Mr Dar’s account of events of the day, countering the army’s claim that he was a stone-pelter.

Investigations found he was on his way to his sister’s place for a condolence visit after voting when the army picked him up and beat him before tying him with ropes and parading him through nearly 28…

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