‘Human Shield’ Farooq Dar Refuses Rs 5 Million ‘Big Boss’ Offer

SRINAGAR — 29-year-old Farooq Ahmad Dar, who was strapped to an Indian military jeep by Major Nitin Leetul Gogoi on April 9 in 2017 and paraded through hamlets of Budgam district, has refused an offer of at least 5 million Indian rupees from a producer of a popular TV show.

Major Gogoi’s infamous act on the day when Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency witnessed meagre 7% voting in by-election incited world-wide condemnation and criticism. However, the inhuman act brought laurels to Gogoi.

Dar says, he clearly refused the offer to participate in the TV show.

Bigg Boss, modeled after the format of Dutch TV show Big Brother, is the most-loved reality show on Indian television. Star Bollywood actor, Salman Khan, hosts the show.

“I was offered Rs 50 lakh – 5 million – by Big Boss producers,” Dar revealed to TWP. “They even told me that tickets for me are ready.” Dar said that he was to just say ‘yes’.

This happened in July, he said, at the time when “compensation” talks were going on.

The Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission had directed the state government to give Rs 10 lakh as compensation to Dar in July last year. But the state government refused arguing that there was “no scheme or policy in vogue in the state, which could cover the payment of compensation” in such matters.

“There is no question of going to India when I can’t leave my house alone,” Dar said. “I feel threatened everywhere. I want a life with dignity.”

A shawl-weaver by profession, Dar is battling depression and is not able to work since he was used as human shield.

Intense investigations soon after the video, in which he was found tied to bonnet of the Indian army jeep, went viral found that Dar was on way to his sister’s place for a condolence visit after voting when the Army picked him up and beat him mercilessly before tying him with ropes and parading him through nearly at least 16 villages.

The Indian Army officer, Major Nitin Leetul Gogi, who paraded Dar, was later awarded with the Chief of Army Staff’s commendation card for his “efforts in counter-insurgency operations”.

The online shopping site run by Delhi BJP spokesperson Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga’s company, Bagga Fashions, begun selling the T-shirts with caption “Indian army … saving your a** whether you like it or not”.

“Members of India’s armed forces reached a new low in the long history of alleged human rights abuses,” The New York Times, stated in its editorial in sight of this incident.

The producers of Big Boss could not be contacted for their comments.

Meanwhile, sources say, this year Big Boss has approached a number of Kashmiris, particularly youth for their upcoming annual show which runs through nearly 40 episodes.

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