New Delhi, March 31, 2018 (PPI-OT): Glorifying the use of human shields by the Indian army in occupied Kashmir, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader in India is selling T-shirts online showing the infamous scene of an Indian army jeep with a human shield tied to the front that has created outrage in the occupied territory.
The online shopping site run by Delhi BJP spokesman, Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga’s company, Bagga Fashions, is selling the T-shirts with caption “Indian army … saving your a** whether you like it or not”. The T-Shirts are being sold for Rs 495 ($8).
The T-shirt in question has a representational image of a man tied to the front of a jeep. It’s an obvious reference to the incident when a youth, Farooq Ahmed Dar, a resident of Chill village in Budgam district was tied in front of an army jeep last year. Major Nitin Leetul Gogoi, the officer who had done it, had said that it was done to deter stone-pelters on April 9 last year.
The incident took place during the so-called Indian Parliamentary by-election in the occupied territory. The by-election was marred by violent clashes between Indian forces and demonstrators that left at least eight people killed and more than 200 wounded.
Dar’s family says he is traumatised and has had to stop working. “His life changed completely since the incident. Sometimes he leaves home without informing anyone. His condition has worried us,” Dar’s brother, Ghulam Qadir told Al Jazeera. “He used to weave shawls to earn livelihood, but now he doesn’t work. He doesn’t do anything normal now. He is very depressed,” he added.
Noted Kashmiri human rights defender, Khurram Parvez, said that it was nothing new. “This is what sells in India; they want to boost the morale of army towards impunity which they are already enjoying in Kashmir. The BJP government wants to sell the army’s military might which is getting support from its people,” he added.
The T-shirt has attracted the attention of international media due to the picture that many in India and outside have found to be in bad taste. An article dated March 25 on the website of The Express Tribune of Pakistan states the “clothing brand has launched T-shirts to make fun of the persecuted Kashmiris”. Another article by Aljazeera.com says this act has further outraged the Kashmiris who have termed it “selling the pain”.
On the other hand, a Bharatiya Janata Party MLA, Ravinder Raina, clicked pictures with the personnel of Indian forces in Sunderbani area of Rajouri while a cordon and search operation was going on and later posted them on social media. Various Indian agencies have termed it a breach of security and an act against the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP).
For more information, contact:
Kashmir Media Service
Phone: +92-51-4435548, +92-51-4435549