The Human Rights Commission of Jammu and Kashmir (SHRC) on Monday ordered the state government to pay a compensation of Rs.10 lakh to Farooq Ahmad Dar, who was used as a human shield by an army officer during violence on the day of by-election for the Srinagar Lok Sabha seat.
The photo of Dar tied on the bonnet of an army jeep became viral on the social media when an army officer used him as a “human shield” to save the polling staff and some electorate from the wrath of violent protestors.
Chairman of the human rights commission, Bilal Nazki, in his order said the compensation awarded to Dar was for the "humiliation, physical and psychiatric torture, stress, wrongful restraint and confinement" that he underwent when he was tied to the bonnet of an Army vehicle to ward off stone pelters.
Justice Nazki said "I have no doubt in my mind that Farooq Ahmad was subjected to torture and humiliation, besides being wrongly confined”. The action led to trauma, resulting in psychiatric stress "which may remain with him for the rest of his life".
"For the humiliation, physical and psychiatric torture, stress, wrongful restraint and confinement, the commission thinks it appropriate to direct the state government to pay a compensation of Rs. 10 lakh to the victim," the SHRC said.
The commission directed the Jammu and Kashmir government to comply with the direction within six weeks. The judgement is recommendatory in nature and 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 judgement said..
Ahsan Antoo, chairman, International Forum for Justice and Protection of Human Rights had moved the petition before the SHRC.
Justice Nazki said the police in its report had said Dar was tied to the 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.
"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.
The SHRC chairperson said that in view of the police report, Dar has been subjected to human rights violations and, therefore, the state government could not escape from the responsibility.
The Army chief, General Bipin Rawat had honoured Major Gogoi, who made Dar human shield, with a commendation card which generated a controversy.