The army’s Court of Inquiry (CoI) on Monday, August 27, ordered disciplinary action against Major Leetul Gogoi over the case relating to row in a Srinagar hotel involving a Kashmiri woman.
The CoI was conducted by a brigadier. The findings of the probe have been approved by the General Officer Commanding of Srinagar headquartered 15 Corps.
Gogoi was detained by the police in a hotel in Srinagar along with a woman in May this year. A court of inquiry (CoI) into the matter found Gogoi was involved with a local woman in a counter-insurgency zone and he had no business being away from his location without permission, said media reports quoting officials.
The court of inquiry has held Major Gogoi guilty of “fraternising with a local in spite of instructions to the contrary and being away from the place of duty while in operational area,” media reports said.
Held guilty on these counts, orders have been issued to initiate disciplinary action against him, said reports.
Major Gogoi was detained on May 23 after a quarrel with the staff of a Srinagar hotel where he was allegedly trying to check in with an 18-year-old woman. According to reports, a room had been booked online for him at the hotel.
A report by news agency Press Trust of India said the Major, along with his driver and a woman had approached the front desk to check in. The hotel staff told him that he could not go to his room with the woman because she was a local resident. Major Gogoi was questioned by the police and he reportedly told the police he had come for a “source meeting”.
Police said the officer was later handed over to his unit. SP North City Sajad Ahmad Shah, who was asked by IGP (Kashmir) SP 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 May 31, J&K police in its status report to a Srinagar court had said that “no case is made out against Gogoi and neither the hotelier nor the girl had filed any complaint.”
The inquiry was conducted by the Army as per its regulations concerning any incident of indiscipline or controversial behaviour. The CoI, headed by a Brigadier, took the testimonies of Major Gogoi, other Army officers concerned besides checking documents dealing with the case.
After the incident in May, Army Chief Bipin Rawat, during a visit to Srinagar, had said, “If anyone in the Indian Army, at any rank, does any wrong and it comes to our notice, then strictest action will be taken. If Major 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.”
Gogoi was earlier involved in another controversy last year for tying a Kashmiri civilian to the front of his jeep, apparently in an attempt to prevent stone-pelters from targeting his convoy. He was later awarded the Chief of Army Staff’s Commendation card for “sustained efforts” in counterinsurgency operations.