Updated: April 1, 2019 8:28:21 am
Major Leetul Gogoi, the Army officer involved with using a human shield on his military jeep during the 2017 Srinagar bypoll, has been punished by the army with loss of seniority of six months after he was found with a local girl in a Srinagar hotel in May 2018.
Sources told The Indian Express that the court martial proceedings had been completed and his punishment of loss of seniority has been ratified by higher army authorities. The Territorial Army soldier, Sameer Malla, who was found with Major Gogoi in that hotel was also punished by a court martial.
The court martial had found Major Gogoi guilty of “fraternising” with a local in violation of official orders on the subject and for “being away from the place of duty while in operational area”. The court martial followed the recording of summary of evidence against the officer after the Army Court of Inquiry (CoI) had recommended disciplinary action against Major Gogoi for the Srinagar hotel incident.
On May 23, 2018, Major Gogoi was detained by police following an altercation with the hotel staff when he was allegedly trying to enter inside with an 18-year-old Kashmiri woman. The woman had expressed her unwillingness to depose during the court martial proceedings and informed the Army authorities that she had given a statement before a magistrate and the same should be treated as her final stand. The woman had also stated that she had gone out with Major Gogoi of her own will, besides disclosing that she had become a friend of the Army officer through his fake Facebook profile, where he had named himself Ubaid Arman.
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Major Gogoi was at the centre of a major controversy after he tied a local man to the front of his military jeep as a ‘human shield’ against stone pelters in Budgam district during polling in the Srinagar Lok Sabha by-election on April 9, 2017. Despite strong public outrage on Major Gogoi’s action, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat had awarded him the COAS commendation card for the act.
But after Major Gogoi was found with a local woman in a Srinagar hotel, General Rawat had said that “if any officer of the Indian Army is found guilty of any offence, we will take strictest possible action”.
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