Jammu and Kashmir Police says lack of army cooperation hampering probe in cases against Major Leetul Gogoi, 53 Rashtriya Rifles

Jammu and Kashmir Police have written to the army that its lack of cooperation was hampering the investigation against Major Leetul Gogoi who allegedly kept one local youth in illegal confinement before tying him to the bonnet of a vehicle and paraded him on the streets in Kashmir on 9 April last year. The police have also pointed out to another incident involving the same army unit 53 Rashtriya Rifles where a local youth was allegedly murdered on 21 October last year.

 Jammu and Kashmir Police says lack of army cooperation hampering probe in cases against Major Leetul Gogoi, 53 Rashtriya Rifles

Major Leetul Gogoi. Image courtesy CNN-News18

A series of letters by the Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Magam to the Commanding Officer of 53 RR and the report prepared by Senior Superintendent of Police, Budgam, in the alleged murder case of Tanveer Ahmad Wani, a youth of Beerwah area of Central Kashmir’s Budgam, and the illegal confinement of Farooq Ahmad Dar—who was tied to the army vehicle—reveal that the army has not been submitting the details of the personnel and the vehicles deployed for duty to the police.

The army, however, said that it fired after facing stone pelting. Major Gogoi is also facing a police investigation after he was caught with a Kashmiri girl from a Srinagar hotel.

The SDPO Magam has written many letters to the Company Commander of 53 RR complaining that the delay in providing information about vehicle deployments on the Gundlipora-Beerwah stretch in Budgam made on the polling day on Srinagar parliamentary seat was lingering the investigation in the case. He had written the letter only a few days after Farooq was tied to the bonnet of the vehicle. Another communication was sent to the army unit on 12 May 2017. Subsequently, many other requests were made with the army and letters were also shot off on 6 August 2017 and 27 November last year, seeking the deployment details.

Police had filed the case of illegal confinement against Major Gogoi after Farooq was tied to the bonnet of an army vehicle and made a human shield. One of the letters by the SDPO to the army unit seeks details on “whether the vehicle bearing no 339Y is allotted to your unit or otherwise. If the said vehicle is allotted to your unit, the name of the officer with rank and company location may kindly be intimated who used the said vehicle for performing the duties on the date of bypoll on 9.4.2017." However, the subsequent letter dated 27 November noted, “Till date nothing has been heard from your end due to which the investigation in the case is lingering without progress."

In the murder case of Tanveer, SSP Budgam noted in his investigation report that after the death of the youth on 21 October, “The correspondence has been made with the army to provide the nominal roll of army personnel who were deployed for duty on the spot on the date of incident, but till date the concerned Army authorities have noted prepared the same." In October, police personnel of Beerwah police station had received information that a patrolling party of 53 RR camp opened fire on two youths Tanveer and Mohammad Ibrahim Wani of Beerwah at the market of the town due to which they received bullet injuries and were hospitalised by the local people. The youth Tanveer later succumbed following which a murder case under 302 RPC was registered against the personnel of 53 RR.

SDPO Magam, Showkat Ahmad, confirmed that the police have written to the army seeking deployment details in the case. He said that the investigation in the case of the murder of Tanveer and illegal confinement of Farooq was going on and the “case will be shortly finalised for prosecution." "While Major Leetul Gogoi has been identified in the video for tying the youth to the bonnet of a vehicle, some personnel of 53 RR have also been identified who fired on Tanveer resulting in his death," he said.

SSP Budgam, Tejinder Singh, said that the investigation in the cases was going on and “findings will be disclosed at an appropriate time."

However Human Rights Activist, Mohammad Ehsan Untoo, who filed the case against Major Gogoi for the illegal confinement of Farooq said that a stringent punishment should be awarded to him.

“Major Gogoi should be hanged. After he paraded Farooq by tying him to his vehicle he has illegally detained a Kashmiri girl and took her to the hotel to sexually assault her," he said. "His conduct is despicable and shameful."

Updated Date: May 26, 2018 10:38:37 IST