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Court of Inquiry Ordered Against Major Gogoi, Army Chief Promises 'Exemplary Punishment if Guilty'

"If any officer of the Indian army is found guilty of any offence, we will take strictest possible action," Rawat told reporters at Pahalgham while on a visit to the Army Goodwill School.

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Updated:May 25, 2018, 4:32 PM IST
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Court of Inquiry Ordered Against Major Gogoi, Army Chief Promises 'Exemplary Punishment if Guilty'
File photo of Army Major Nitin Leetul Gogoi.
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Srinagar: The Army has ordered a court of inquiry against Major Leetul Gogoi for his conduct after he was found at a hotel in Srinagar in the company of a young girl. Army chief Bipin Rawat on Friday said he will be given “exemplary punishment” if he is found guilty of “any offence”.

Major Gogoi was briefly detained by police in Srinagar on May 23 after an altercation when he was allegedly trying to enter a hotel with an 18-year-old woman.

An MoD spokesperson said, "The Army has ordered a court of inquiry and appropriate action will be taken after the inquiry is finalised."

Top officers of the Jammu and Kashmir police have shared information with the Army about their probe into the incident.

"If any officer of the Indian army is found guilty of any offence, we will take strictest possible action," Rawat told reporters at Pahalgham while on a visit to the Army Goodwill School.

"If Major Gogoi has done something wrong, I assure you that he will be awarded punishment at the earliest...the punishment will set an example," the army chief said.

The Jammu and Kashmir Police has initiated an inquiry into the incident involving Gogoi, whose decision to tie a civilian to the bonnet of his vehicle in Kashmir last year sparked a row.

According to a police official, the latest incident took place on the morning of May 23 when Major Gogoi along with his driver, also an armyman, and the woman approached the front desk of a hotel at Dalgate to check-in.

The booking was made online in the name of Leetul Gogoi for two guests for one night, the police official, who did not want to be identified, told PTI.

According to the police, which recorded statements of the hotel staff as well as the three persons, the Major was informed that he could not enter the room with the accompanying woman which led to an altercation between the staff and Gogoi's driver.

Immediately, other hotel staff members caught hold of the army officer and his driver and called the police.

Inspector General of Police (Kashmir Range) Swayam Prakash Pani ordered a probe into the incident by Superintendent of Police (North). Pani has directed that the report be submitted at the earliest, the official said.

Police have asked for the hotel's CCTV footage as well as the room reservation form filled by the Major, as part of its probe.

A team of Major Gogoi's Army unit arrived along with Military Police and the two were handed over by the local police after recording their statements, the official said. The Major claimed it was a 'source meeting', the police official added.

The "sobbing woman" told the police that she knew the driver of the army officer and had accompanied him to Srinagar, the official added.

Gogoi had hit the headlines last year in April when he tied a local Farooq Ahmed Dar to his jeep and paraded him through 28 villages in Budgam district apparently to escape the stone pelting. The Army had defended the action and claimed that it was committed in good faith to save lives of many soldiers and polling staff from violent stone-pelters in Utligam village of Beerwah.

(With PTI inputs)

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| Edited by: Huma Tabassum
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