Almost a month after the video of a Kashmiri youth tied to the bonnet of a jeep by the Indian Army went viral, Major Nitin Leetul Gogoi, in a first on Indian television, spoke exclusively to Ashish Singh of NewsX and presented his side of the story.
Major Gogoi said that he was in “do-or-die” situation, surrounded by over a thousand stone pelters, and his quick thinking of using a stone pelter as a human shield saved many lives. “17 boys in QRT team, 4 civilian polling agents, 7 ITBP men, 4 J&K cops and EVM machine were stranded,” Major Gogoi said.
Major Gogoi had used a stone pelter as a ‘human shield’ when an angry mob attacked the five-vehicle convoy he was escorting after by-election duty in Srinagar.
“I saved lives without firing a bullet or beating anyone. From my point of view, I have done no wrong. If your intentions are right nothing will happen to you. Be positive. Work hard and things will be okay,” he added.
Major Gogoi, belonging to the 53 Rashtriya Rifles, was also honoured with the Army Chief’s ‘Commendation Card’ for his ‘sustained efforts’ in counter- insurgency operations.
The incident came to light in April when a 16-second video surfaced showing an army jeep carrying a Kashmiri tied in front of the jeep as the army convoy passed through Gundipora village of Beerwah in the troubled state of Jammu and Kashmir.
The man tied to the jeep identified as Farooq Ahmad Dar was later handed to the local police after the army convoy found a safe passage out of the area.