Indian-held Kashmir human rights commission has urged the state government to pay a compensation of INR1 million to Faroow Ahmed Dar who was used as a “human shield'” by the Indian military.
The State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) shared that the compensation was awarded to the victim for the “humiliation, physical and psychiatric torture, stress, wrongful restraint and confinement” that he underwent when he was tied to the bonnet of an Indian army vehicle to ward off stone pelters.
“I have no doubt in my mind that Farooq Ahmad was subjected to torture and humiliation, besides being wrongly confined,” the judgement issued by SHRC chairperson Justice (retired) Bilal Nazki said.
He further observed that the action inadvertently led to trauma resulting in psychiatric stress which may stay with him for the rest of his life.
The commission directed the IoK government to comply with the direction within six weeks.
Since the judgement is recommendatory in nature it would need the approval of the state government for implementation. “The chief secretary of the state shall file a compliance report before the commission within the same period,” the ruling read. The judgement came on an application moved by Ahsan Antoo, chairman, International Forum for Justice and Protection of Human Rights.
Justice (retd) Nazki said the police in its report had said Dar was tied to the Indian army vehicle bonnet and used as a human shield, but observed that the commission was ‘handicapped’ by the fact that it could not refer to the conduct of the army because of the limited applicability of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, Scoop Whoop reported.
“There cannot be any debate as to whether the treatment given to Dar was a violation of human rights or not. There are laws in this country, and international laws, which prohibit such a treatment even to a convict. Such treatment to a human being cannot be accepted by a civilised society,” he said.
“This commission chose not to issue any notice to the central government or the armed forces, but the fact remains that the protection of life and liberty of the people is basic responsibility of the state government,” the judgment said.
Justice (retd) Nazki said, “The responsibility of the state government to protect its citizens and their rights cannot be diluted or abdicated.”
Dar, an embroidery artisan, was tied to a jeep by Major Leetul Gogoi, as a shield against the stone pelters who had allegedly surrounded a group of armed personnel.