Army Chief General Bipin Rawat called on Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti here this evening amid a controversial video showing a man tied to an army vehicle during polling for the Srinagar Lok Sabha seat on April 9. While the 30-minute-long meeting, which began at 1900 hours, was termed as a courtesy call, official sources said that the chief minister raised the issue of the video that has gone viral on social media. The army chief, who was on a visit to the Jammu-based IX Corps of Western Command, had called on Governor N N Vohra and apprised him about the situation along the borders and also on the forthcoming Amarnath Yatra. Gen Rawat apprised Mehbooba about the situation in the Valley and assured her of timely action against its personnel who were responsible for the act of tying the man to the vehicle at Budgam. According to the sources, the army officials told a probe team that they had received a call from ITBP and local police guarding a polling station to save them from a mob which was out to lynch them. The army convoy rushed in from Kandipura and tied 36- year-old man Farooq Dar to the army jeep, they said. This incident was shot by unknown residents on their mobiles and the video showing Dar as a shield against stone- pelting protesters was circulated on social media. The video triggered a public outcry in the valley prompting the civil and army authorities to launch separate investigations. During the investigation, Dar was claimed to have said he was picked up when he was on way to his sister's house, where a bereavement had occurred, after casting his vote. He alleged he was picked up by an army contingent that wanted to enter Beerwah village with the polling staff and tied with ropes to the front of the vehicle, officials said. The video showed the thickset man strapped to the bonnet while seated on the stepney affixed to the bumper of the jeep.
Dar claimed he was moved around 10-12 villages at the head of the convoy, which included vehicles with security personnel and polling staff, before being let off.
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