Major who used human shield held with a girl in Srinagar

Major who used human shield held with a girl in Srinagar

Jammu and Kashmir Police on Wednesday ordered a probe into an incident in which Major Leetul Gogoi, an army officer behind last year’s human shield case, was detained by police along with a girl after an altercation at a hotel here.

Sources said a room was booked online in Grand Mamta Hotel, Buchwara Dalgate, in the name of Gogoi of Assam for Wednesday. At 11 am, Gogoi with a driver and a 16-year-old girl – both from Budgam – checked into the hotel.

When hotel personnel, on feeling suspicious, asked for identity cards, the trio engaged in a verbal and physical argument with the staff. The hotel management called the police who took Gogoi, driver and the girl to Khanyar police station, from where they were reportedly shifted to district police lines, Srinagar.

A police spokesperson while confirming the incident said, “The Inspector General Police Kashmir has ordered a probe, which will be conducted by the Superintendent Police North zone Srinagar, into the incident within the ambit of law.

“The army officer was handed over to his unit after his statement was recorded. The statement of the girls is also being recorded for probing the matter.” 

In April last year, a video showing Gogoi from 53-Rashtriya Rifles parading a civilian after tying him to the bonnet of army vehicle went viral on social media and created uproar. The police had ordered an investigation into the case after the incident evoked widespread condemnation, with human rights activists demanding action against Gogoi.

However, the army chief General Bipin Rawat while defending Gogoi’s action had said they were facing a “dirty war” in J&K which has to be fought through “innovative” ways. 

"People are throwing stones at us, people are throwing petrol bombs at us. If my men ask me what do we do, should I say, just wait and die? I will come with a nice coffin with a national flag and I will send your bodies home with honour. Is it what I am supposed to tell them as chief? I have to maintain the morale of my troops who are operating there,” Gen Rawat said while defending the accused Major’s action.
He was later awarded the Army Chief Commendation Card for ‘sustained efforts in counter-insurgency operations.’