The Army’s Court of Inquiry (CoI) is likely to indict Major Leetul Gogoi in connection with the case where he was seen with a local Kashmiri woman in a Srinagar hotel on May 23. The Army officer is likely to face punitive action over findings of the CoI, news agency PTI quoted official sources as saying.
They said the CoI has found Gogoi guilty of violating Army’s rules on at least two counts: firstly, staying away from place of duty while being on active service in an operational area and secondly, developing relationship with a local woman in a conflict zone.
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 Gogoi may be slapped under relevant sections of the Army Act.
On May 23, Gogoi was detained by police following an altercation at the hotel in Srinagar where he was allegedly trying to enter with an 18-year-old 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 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 last year after he tied a man to a jeep in Kashmir purportedly as a shield against stone pelters during polling in the Srinagar Lok Sabha by-election on April 9.
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.
(With PTI inputs)