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‘Human shield’ officer Leetul Gogoi likely to be indicted by Army court

Sources said the Court of Inquiry has found that he violated the Army’s rule against developing relationship with a local woman in a conflict zone.

Major Leetul Gogoi, who was detained by police in a Srinagar hotel after he was seen with a local woman in May 2018, may face punitive action as a Court of Inquiry ordered by the Army into the incident is likely to indict him in the case, official sources said in New Delhi.

They said the CoI has found that he violated the Army’s rule against developing relationship with a local woman in a conflict zone and breaching the standard operating procedure of staying away from place of duty.

The sources said the findings of the CoI are being placed before the top brass of the Srinagar-based XV corps for approval following which charges against Major Gogoi may be slapped under relevant sections of the Army Act.

On May 23, Major Gogoi was detained by police following an altercation at the hotel in Srinagar where he was allegedly trying to enter with a woman.

Days later, the Army had ordered the CoI into the incident after Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat said in Pahalgam that exemplary punishment would be given to Major Gogoi if he was found guilty of “any offence”.

“If any officer of the Indian Army is found guilty of any offence, we will take strictest possible action,” Gen. Rawat had said.

The sources said the Army authorities are likely to examine the legal aspects of the case before taking a final call on future course of action.

Major Gogoi had hit the headlines in 2017 after he tied a man to a jeep in Kashmir purportedly as a shield against stone-pelters during polling for the Srinagar Lok Sabha by-election on April 9.

This combination of photos shows embroidery artisan Farooq Ahmad Dar tied to an Army jeep during an incident where he was made a 'human shield' against stone-pelters by an Army convoy. He now faces a social boycott.

This combination of photos shows embroidery artisan Farooq Ahmad Dar tied to an Army jeep during an incident where he was made a ‘human shield’ against stone-pelters by an Army convoy. He now faces a social boycott.
 
| Photo Credit: PTI

 

Gen. Rawat had supported the young officer’s action and honoured him with the Army chief’s ‘Commendation Card’ for his ‘sustained efforts’ in counter-insurgency operations.

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