Major Leetul Gogoi shifted out of army unit in J&K's Budgam after Court of Inquiry action in Srinagar hotel case

Srinagar: Major Leetul Gogoi, who was at the centre of the 'human shield' controversy, has been shifted out of his unit and attached to local formation headquarters after being indicted by an Army Court of Inquiry (CoI) for "fraternising" with a local woman in Srinagar, officials said Tuesday.

In August, the CoI instituted by the army indicted Gogoi, an officer with 53 Rashtriya Rifles - a specialized anti-militancy force for Jammu and Kashmir, on two counts - "fraternising" with a local in spite of instructions to the contrary and "being away from the place of duty while in operational area". It recommended Summary of Evidence against him, a step before court martial proceedings are initiated.

 Major Leetul Gogoi shifted out of army unit in J&Ks Budgam after Court of Inquiry action in Srinagar hotel case

File image of Major Leetul Gogoi. News18

Officials said Gogoi was shifted out of his unit in Budgam and "attached" to Awantipora-based Victor Force headquarters.

The officer, whose decision to tie a civilian to the bonnet of his vehicle in Kashmir on 9 April, 2017 as a shield against stone-pelting by a mob had kicked up a huge controversy, will now face Summary of Evidence, a process similar to framing of charges. The process is likely to take three months.

Based on the Summary of Evidence to be compiled by "competent authorities", the army is likely to decide further action in the case which may include General Court Martial (GCM) or Summary General Court Martial (SGCM). The GCM is like a full court whereas the proceedings in SGCM are conducted in a much shorter time span and cases are disposed of quickly.

Gogoi, who was commissioned as a lieutenant in December 2008, was detained by Jammu and Kashmir Police on 23 May following an altercation at a hotel in Srinagar where he was allegedly trying to enter with an 18-year-old woman.

Army Chief General Bipin 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.

However, after the name of the major was embroiled in a controversy involving a girl, Gen.Rawat said 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," he had said.

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Updated Date: Sep 18, 2018 21:05:06 IST