NEW DELHI/SRINAGAR: An Army Court of Inquiry has indicted Major Leetul Gogoi for “fraternising” with a local woman in a Srinagar hotel and being away from his place of duty, paving the way for disciplinary action, army sources said on Monday.
Gogoi was detained by police in May following an altercation when he was allegedly trying to enter a Srinagar hotel with an 18-year-old woman.
The officer, who was at the centre of the human shield row after his decision to tie a civilian to the bonnet of his vehicle in Kashmir last year, will now face summary of evidence before court martial proceedings are initiated against him, the sources said.
The CoI has held him accountable for “fraternizing” with a local in spite of instructions to the contrary and “being away from the place of duty while in operational area,” they said. The CoI had submitted its findings to the convening authority earlier this month following which further proceedings have been initiated, the sources said.
The army had ordered the CoI following the May 23 incident. Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat had said in Pahalgam that exemplary punishment would be given to Gogoi if he was found guilty of “any offence.”
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.
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.