I’m Poor, Can’t File Complaint: Man Tied to Army Jeep Speaks Out
Farooq Dar claims that he was taken by the Army while he went to cast his vote and attend a bereavement.
The man, who was seen tied to an army jeep on polling day has been identified as Farooq Dar, while the army unit involved in the act was 53 Rashtriya Rifles.
The video – in which a man was seen tied to an army jeep, allegedly as a human shield against stone-pelting, and which had gone viral on social media – had fomented outrage in the Valley, forcing the authorities and the Army to investigate the matter.
During investigation, Dar said he was out to cast his vote and later visit his sister's house, where a bereavement had taken place, to offer condolences.
Dar and his brother talked about the incident in an exclusive interview with International Business Times.
‘I am Not a Stone-Pelter,’ Dar Says
Talking to The Indian Express, Dar said:
I am not a stone-pelter. Never in my life have I thrown stones. I work as an embroiderer of shawls, and I know some carpentry. This is what I do.
While recalling the incident, Dar talked about the violence he faced at the hands of the Army and the fear he felt throughout the ordeal.
Officials investigating the matter on the instructions of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said Dar is a resident of Sitaharaan village in Khag tehsil of Budgam in central Kashmir.
Dar alleged that he was picked up by an Army contingent that wanted to enter Beerwah village with the polling staff, and was tied with rope to the front of the vehicle.
In another interview to Firstpost, Dar said:
The armed force personnel were beating some women at Utli Gam. They caught hold of me and tied me to the jeep before dragging me to the camp at Arizal where I was severely beaten up before I was handed over to the family members. I received injuries to my arm as well as face.
Dar explained that he was tied in front of the jeep, and paraded around nine villages. Dar told The Indian Express:
On the way, soldiers were shouting to people, ‘come throw stones at one of your own’. People were running away. They were scared. I was told not to utter a word to anyone or they would shoot me.
Despite the harrowing nature of his ordeal, Dar revealed that he was not going to take any action or lodge any complaint, as he had to take care of his mother. Dar told The Indian Express:
Gareeb log hain, kya karengey complain. I live alone with my asthmatic mother who is 75 years old. I am scared. Anything can happen to me. I am not a stone-pelter.
(With inputs from PTI)
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