J&K police tell court Major Leetul Gogoi faked identity on Facebook to meet Kashmiri girl, confirm she is not minor
Major Leetul Gogoi had come in the eye of the storm last year during the elections on Srinagar parliamentary seat after had tied a Kashmiri youth, Farooq Ahmad Dar, to the bonnet of a vehicle and paraded him on the streets in Budgam.
The Jammu and Kashmir Police on Wednesday told the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) Srinagar that Major Leetul Gogoi faked as a Muslim youth and had also roped in another army soldier, Sameer Malla, to stay with a Kashmiri girl at a hotel in Srinagar. The police also said that Gogoi and Sameer, who is from Khag village of Budgam district, fought with the staff and raised commotion as they were denied the room.
In a report which was submitted before the CJM in Srinagar in response to an application filed by human rights activist and chairman of International Forum for Justice and Human Rights (IFJHR), Mohammad Ahsan Untoo against the army Major that he indulged in an "immoral act", the police said that he faked as a youth, Ubaid Arman, on Facebook to become friends with the Kashmiri girl. Major Gogoi and Sameer had even shared their cell phone numbers with the girl and after they talked to her she waited for them at Magam in Kashmir before travelling in a private vehicle with them to the hotel. This correspondent has reviewed the report, which is in Urdu.
The report was filed in response to the direction issued by the CJM on 27 May after Untoo filed his application alleging that the police had tried to hush up the case. The application was moved under section 156 (3) of Criminal Procedure Code (CRPC). The CJM kept the date of hearing of the case on 4 June.
On 23 May, Gogoi was held with a girl at a Srinagar hotel along with Sameer and was detained at the Khanayar police station. The trio was let off after questioning within hours of the incident. Initial reports had it that the girl was a minor but several conflicting accounts about her age muddied the case. The police have stated before the magistrate that according to the girl's Aadhaar card, she is "above 18 years of age".
The police have also disclosed in the report that girl was not knowing that Major Gogoi was faking his identity and came to know that he was an army man only a month back.
"As per the already decided programme I moved at 10 am from Magam. I was knowing Gogoi on Facebook where I befriended him. First his name on Facebook was Ubaid Arman and later on, he told me that his name is Gogoi and he is posted in Beerwah. Earlier I was not knowing that he is an army man and later I came to know a month back that he is an army officer,” the report said. The police have said that as per the Aadhaar card and school records the girl is above 18 years of age.
As per the report, after the hotel staff didn’t give them the room as she was a Kashmiri girl, they had a brawl with them following which the police was called up. As per the report, both Sameer and Gogoi were taken to the police station and after that, her statement was also recorded.
The report has further noted that the police station Khanyar received the information of the brawl at the hotel. The police also said that Major Gogoi had already booked a room at the hotel through online mode and hotel administration didn’t allow him to check in after finding that a Kashmiri girl was accompanying a non-state subject. "All the three were moving to the hotel parking area after which Sameer Malla entered into heated argument with the hotel manager and after a commotion local people also assembled in the hotel following which the administrative staff called up police and Gogoi told that he was working as army Major with 53 RR at Beerwah, while as Sameer Malla is also working with army," the report said.
The army Major had come in the eye of the storm last year during the elections on Srinagar parliamentary seat after had tied a Kashmiri youth, Farooq Ahmad Dar, to the bonnet of a vehicle and paraded him on the streets in Budgam and the act drew widespread condemnation.
He is already facing a police case for the illegal confinement of Farooq during his duty in the Beerwah area of Central Kashmir’s Budgam district, while the personnel of 53 Rashtriya Rifles are also facing a murder case as they shot dead another youth Tanveer Ahmad Wani in October last year.
The army has ordered a court of inquiry (CoI) against Major Gogoi after he was caught with the Kashmiri girl at the hotel. The CoI is looking into the lapses of the officer under section 63 of the Army Act 1950, which states that a person “who is guilty of any act or omission which is prejudicial to good order and military discipline shall, on conviction by court-martial, be liable to suffer imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years.”
Earlier top army officials said that Major Gogoi, who had received the Chief of the Army Staff Commendation card last year, violated the army rules by moving out of his area of duty to meet a girl at a Srinagar hotel.
The External Affairs Ministry had said on September 9 that the disengagement process will be completed by September 12
According to the Indian Army, this is part of an effort to align itself to the national sentiment in accordance with the five vows or 'Panch Pran' that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked people to follow
Emphasising the need for self-reliance in the defence sector, the Indian Army chief said that the country's security cannot be outsourced, nor can it be largely dependent on procurement of equipment from abroad