He was part of a medical team on poll duty: CMO
Farooq Ahmad Dar, who hogged international headlines after an Army officer used him as a human shield during bypolls to Srinagar parliamentary seat in April 2017 to protect his convoy from stone pelting, Thursday didn’t vote and was deputed with a medical team for poll duty.
Dar was part of a medical team comprising a doctor and other officials, who were deployed at Model Polling Station setup at Government Higher Secondary School Khanshib in Budgam.
“He was part of medical team on election duty,” Chief Medical Officer Budgam, Nazir Ahmad Bhat told Rising Kashmir.
Dar has been working as a consolidated sweeper on a salary of rupees 840 per month at a hospital in Khansahib, Budgam since 2005.
On April 9, 2017, Dar was tied to bonnet of an army jeep by Army Major Leetul Gogoi of 53 RR, a picture which had gone viral across the world, triggering outrage and criticism.
The incident had happened at Utiligam village, some 16 kilometres from Chill, when Dar was on way to his sister’s house to attend a condolence meet after casting his vote at a polling station setup at his village for the 2017 Srinagar parliamentary by-polls.
Since Dar was on medical duty, he didn’t cast his vote this time.
Rising Kashmir visited to Chill-Brass, a remote village located near a mountain, but neither Dar nor his mother was at home.
“Till the last hour, Dar and his mother didn’t turn up at the polling station. They didn’t vote,” said Booth Level Officer (BLO) of Chill, Showkat Ahmad.
Dar was among 890 listed voters in Chill and most of the voters from the village stayed away from polls. Dar figured at 641 in the electoral list but the officials couldn’t tick mark his name.
Those who exercised their franchise said they voted in hope of development in the village which has a population of around 2000 people.
Ghulam Mohammad Mir, who cast his vote at Chill Polling station, said the situation of the village on the developmental was so grim that even political figures keep themselves away from visiting the village.
“We only vote for the development. We vote for the construction of a bridge which would ease the road connectivity to the village,” Mir said.
Dar was married in February. His spouse also didn’t vote as she has not been enlisted yet in the electoral rolls.
The State Human Rights Commission had recommended Rs 10 lakh compensation to Dar. However, the direction was not implemented by the State government.
The then PDP-BJP government did not uphold the SHRC ruling and the matter is under consideration in the court.
The Army had also awarded Major Gogoi.