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Army orders Court of Inquiry in 'human shield' incident

April 20, 2017 21:32 IST

The army has ordered a Court of Inquiry into the controversial 'human shield' incident in Kashmir in which a man was tied to an army vehicle purportedly as a shield against stone pelters.

The Court of Inquiry was instituted against the Major who tied the stone-pelter in front of his jeep to safeguard few Central Armed Police Forces jawans.

The inquiry is being headed by an officer of the rank of Colonel.

Army sources said the CoI has been given one month's time to complete the probe.

A video showing the man tied to an army vehicle as a shield against the stone pelters during polling in the Srinagar Lok Sabha by-election on April 9, triggered a public outcry.

The CoI will look into the circumstance that prompted an army major to tie the Kashmiri youth to the jeep's bonnet as a 'human shield'.

The CoI has been given time till May 15 to probe the incident, the sources said.

Army Chief General Bipin Rawat had visited Jammu and Kashmir following the incident and later apprised National Security Advisor Ajit Doval of the security situation in the Kashmir Valley.

Gen Rawat also had separate deliberations with Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and Governor N N Vohra over the law-and-order situation in Kashmir during his visit to the state.

Earlier on Friday Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police S P Vaid informed that no one had approached the police then in connection with the video showing a youth tied allegedly to an army jeep as a human shield against stone-pelting.

He, however, added the Indian Army is doing its own investigation into the same.

Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party general secretary Ram Madhav on Thursday complimented the officer responsible for tying the man to the jeep’s bonnet, saying ‘everything is fair in love and war’ and the ‘harsh’ decision saved lives of civilians and soldiers.

The saffron party's pointsman for Jammu and Kashmir also said the current Kashmir situation is ‘certainly troubling’ but expressed confidence that the People’s Democratic Party-BJP government will handle it.

‘The situation is difficult but such situations have been there in the Valley so many times before,’ he told CNN-News18, according to a press release.

Asked about the controversial video showing the civilian tied to the army jeep, Madhav said nobody wants this but justified the act saying if one person’s human rights are violated in order to protect the human rights of many more, he will leave that judgement to the officer concerned.

“I will compliment him for the decision that he took. He saved the lives of the people in police station, officials and all, and also his own boys. He also did not allow any civilian casualty,” he said.

Had the army not done so, then the mob there would have lynched over 50 civilians and almost equal number of security personnel there, Madhav claimed.

The other option before the army was to fire indiscriminately because the officer had about 10 soldiers with him, and this would have caused civilian casualties, he said.

The incident happened because reinforcements could not reach in time, he said.

With inputs from ANI.

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