Farooq Ahmad Dar, who was used as a human shield by the Army after they came under stone pelting, this election found himself posted on election duty, reported the Press Trust of India.
“Farooq Ahmad Dar is working on consolidated terms as sweeper in the Health Department. He has been posted on election duty,” said Budgam Chief Medical Officer Nazir Ahmad told PTI.
In 2017, a picture of Dar tied to the bonnet of an army jeep splashed across the front pages of newspapers, invoking sharp but divided reactions.
Investigations later found he was on his way to his sister’s place for a condolence meet after casting his vote in the bypoll on April 9 2017 when the army picked him up and tied him with ropes, parading him through nearly 28 villages.
As PTI travelled to Cheill-Brass, a remote village just at the foot of the mighty mountain, Dar was not at his home.
“He has gone for election duty,” his mother Fazi Begum told PTI.
She said Dar was appointed as a daily wage employee in the state Health Department and has been on election duty since Wednesday.
Asked if the eligible members of her family had cast their votes, Fazi Begum said, “I almost lost my son due to voting two years ago. Do you think we will go to vote again?”
The 65-year-old woman said her son had to seek daily wage employment in the government department as he could not work on shawls anymore.
“His thumb has been damaged after he was tied to the jeep by army people. Now he cannot work on shawls,” she said.
Dar was tied to a bonnet of an armoured vehicle by Major Leetul Gogoi in April 2017 on the day of the Parliamentary polls. He was paraded through at least twelve villages. Following furore over the act which was described as ‘dastradly’, the Army had convened a court of inquiry (CoI) on April 15, two days after an FIR was filed by J&K Police into the incident, involving Major Leetul Gogoi from 53 Rashtriya Rifles (RR).
However, the officer was not only given a clean chit but was honoured too.
“That pending completion of the investigation in the matter, the recommendation with regard to payment of compensation to the complainant, shall tantamount to establish the guilt of the accused without affording him of an opportunity of being heard,” it said.
In the reply, the government also termed as “handicapped” the State Human Rights Commission which had recommended a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to Dar.
It also said that SHRC lacks domain to go into the conduct of the Army.