Army Major Behind Kashmir Human Shield Given Award

Major Leetul Gogoi was awarded the army's 'Commendation Card' for his 'sustained efforts' in counter-insurgency operations.

New Delhi: Major Leetul Gogoi, who had tied a man to a jeep in Kashmir purportedly as a shield against stone pelters, has been awarded by the army for his ‘sustained efforts’ in counter-insurgency operations.

The army chief’s ‘Commendation Card’ for Major Gogoi is seen as an indication that he is unlikely to be implicated for the incident by a court of inquiry, which the army maintains is still in process.

“Major Gogoi has been awarded chief of army staff’s commendation card for sustained efforts in counter-insurgency operations,” army spokesperson Colonel Aman Anand said.

Sources said Major Gogoi was given the award during General Bipin Rawat’s visit to Jammu and Kashmir last week.

The army chief’s ‘Commendation Card’ is considered a prestigious award and is given for distinguished services and devotion to duties.

A video showing the man (later identified as Farooq Ahmad Dar) tied to an army vehicle during polling in the Srinagar Lok Sabha by-elections on April 9 triggered public outcry, prompting the army to institute a probe.

The inquiry was tasked to look into the circumstance that prompted Major Gogoi to tie the Kashmiri youth, who has said he was on his way home after voting, to the jeep’s bonnet as a human shield.