The Indian Army has ordered disciplinary action against Major Leetul Gogoi after a court of inquiry found him guilty of fraternising with a local and being away from the place of duty in an operational area.
Last year, Maj Gogoi was praised by Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat for tying a civilian to a jeep during the Srinagar bypoll as a human shield in India-occupied Kashmir. The officer, posted with a Rashtriya Rifles battalion, was awarded the Chief of Army Staff Commendation Card by Gen Rawat for his action.
According to details, the inquiry committee, approved by the Corps Commander, had found Maj Gogoi guilty on two counts: one, fraternising with a local in spite of official instructions to the contrary, and two, being away from the place of duty while in an operational area, according to The Indian Express.
On May 23, Major Gogoi, along with a local Kashmiri woman and one Sameer Ahmed, also in the army, were questioned at a police station in Srinagar following an altercation at the Hotel Grand Mamta after the staff refused to let the woman in.
A Court of Inquiry had been ordered against Maj Gogoi following an altercation at the hotel. The inquiry, headed by a brigadier, took the testimonies of Maj Gogoi, other army officers concerned besides checking documents dealing with the case. Maj Gogoi did not contest the charges.
The process of disciplinary action will start with the recording of evidence which will then lead to the framing of charges against the officer. Based on the charges and the evidence garnered, either a Summary General Court Martial or a General Court Martial will be convened by the army. After the court martial completes the trial and gives its judgement, the judgement would be approved by an appropriate authority in the army as per military law.
The decision to initiate disciplinary action against him follows the statement of the Indian army chief after the incident involving the Kashmiri woman. General Rawat had said in Pahalgam: “If Major Gogoi has done something wrong, I assure you, he will be punished and the punishment will be such that it will set an example.”