‘Holes in Major Gogoi’s story’: Twitter reacts to Kashmir ‘human shield’ ground report

An HT investigation found that locals in 17 villages of central Kashmir refuting the army’s claim that Major Gogoi faced massive stone pelting.

india Updated: May 26, 2017 18:52 IST
Abhishek Saha
Abhishek Saha
Hindustan Times, Srinagar
Major Gogoi,Kashmir,Farooq Dar
Farooq Dar, who was used as a human shield by army, sits in his home in Chil village in Budgam district and holds a picture of him being tied on a jeep. (Waseem Andrabi / Hindustan Times)

A ground investigation from central Kashmir where villagers refuted the army’s narrative of the “human shield” incident on April 9 garnered a lot of chatter on social media on Friday.

Army Major Leetul Gogoi tied Kashmiri shawl weaver Farooq Dar, a resident of Chill village in Budgam district, to the bonnet of a jeep as a ‘human shield’ and drove him around for five hours across 17 villages over 28km on April 9, the day of Srinagar parliamentary by-polls.

Dar says he had just voted and was on the way to a relative’s house, where a death had taken place.

Journalist Omair Ahmad tweeted: “Good, basic journalism, and why it pays to have people go to the ground rather than opinionate from TV studios. Argue with data.”

Major Gogoi had told media that Dar was the “instigator and could have been a ring leader” of the stone-pelters and added he had managed to save lives by his act.

Somak Ghoshal, a senior editor with Huffington Post India, wrote on HT report: “HT’s report on the ‘human shield episode is just heartbreaking. It also picks all the holes in Major Gogoi’s story.”

The HT story detailed what villagers experienced when they saw the jeep with Dar tied on it.

“Solid ground-reporting,” Twitter user Binu Paul wrote.

“Good to see that a section of mainstream media still practices ground reporting,” wrote user Chirag toshniwal.

But not everyone was convinced.

First Published: May 26, 2017 18:51 IST