Army orders Court of Inquiry against Major Gogoi

Army orders Court of Inquiry against Major Gogoi

In picture: Major Leetul Gogoi. File photo/Screengrab.

The Indian Army has ordered a Court of Inquiry against Major Leetul Gogoi, who was caught in the middle of an unsavoury controversy involving a Kashmiri girl following an altercation at a Srinagar hotel.

“The army has ordered a Court of Inquiry and appropriate action will be taken after the inquiry is finalised,” said an officer at the army headquarters.

Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat, who is touring Jammu and Kashmir to review the impact of the suspension of operations in the holy month of Ramzan, too, made it clear that the Major's case wouldn't be treated leniently.

“If Maj Gogoi has done something wrong, then I can say that he will be given due punishment and the punishment will be such that it will set an example. If anyone in the Indian Army, at any rank, does any wrong and it comes to our notice, then the strictest action will be taken,” Gen Rawat told reporters in Srinagar.

Maj Gogoi hit headlines worldwide last year when he used a local Kashmiri as a human shield to rescue an election party caught in the middle of a stone-pelting mob.

Though he received brickbats from many for such an act, Gogoi received a Commendation Card from the army chief for sustained efforts in counter-insurgency operations.

But on Wednesday, the same officer was questioned by the Jammu and Kashmir police following a complaint from Grand Mamata hotel where he wanted to check in with a local girl. The officer was accompanied by his driver, who is also from Kashmir.

Objections by the hotel staff resulted in a heated exchange with Gogoi. This led to an altercation. The hotel rang up the police. On arrival, the police interrogated Gogoi and others involved in the incident. The officer was later handed over to his unit. The Inspector General of Police, Kashmir ordered a probe.

The girl's age is also under probe. A section of the press in Kashmir claims she is a minor, while it was denied by official agencies.