The ARMY Friday ordered a Court of Inquiry against Major Leetul Gogoi, two days after he was questioned by police over an altercation at a Srinagar hotel where he had shown up with a young woman and a man.
Army chief General Bipin Rawat, who was in Pahalgam, said exemplary punishment would be given to Major Gogoi if he was found guilty of “any offence” and “the punishment will set an example”.
An Army officer said: “A Court of Inquiry has been ordered (into the Major Gogoi incident) and appropriate action will be taken after the inquiry is finalised.” The officer did not share the terms of reference and date of submission of the inquiry.
A Court of Inquiry is a fact-finding inquiry conducted as per Army regulations into any incident of indiscipline or controversial behaviour. Based on the findings of the inquiry, a decision to proceed with disciplinary proceedings is taken by Army authorities.
Major Gogoi, who tied a civilian to a Jeep and drove through several villages of Budgam last year, has been at the centre of a new row since Wednesday. He and a young woman and one Sameer Ahmed, who police sources said was also in the Army, were questioned at a police station in Srinagar following an altercation at the Hotel Grand Mamta after the staff refused to let the woman in.
Police said the officer was later handed over to his unit. SP North City Sajad Ahmad Shah, who was asked by IGP (Kashmir) S P Pani to conduct an inquiry, said police were told that a room in the hotel had been booked in the name of Leetul Gogoi.
On Thursday, the mother of the young woman claimed Gogoi had “raided” their house at night twice in the past and, on both occasions, was accompanied by Sameer Ahmed. “He raided our house twice. On one occasion, I fainted when I saw the Army. On both occasions, he (Gogoi) was accompanied by Sameer. He warned us not to tell anyone about the raid,” she claimed.
Speaking to reporters Friday while in south Kashmir, General Rawat said: “If Major Gogoi has done something wrong, I assure you, he will be punished and the punishment will be such that it will set an example.”
Sources told The Indian Express that the decision to order an inquiry came after General Rawat expressed his displeasure at Major Gogoi’s behaviour with the hotel staff.
The Army chief had supported Major Gogoi last year after his act of tying a civilian to Jeep as a “human shield” led to a row. The officer, posted with the Rashtriya Rifles, was even awarded a Chief of Army Staff Commendation Card for his action.