Days after an army officer was detained by the police in Srinagar after a row in a hotel involving a Kashmiri woman, Army Chief Bipin Rawat said today that “strictest action would be taken” if anyone in the army did any wrong.
The officer who was detained is Major Leetul Gogoi, backed by the army amid a major row last year when he tied a Kashmiri man to his jeep as a “human shield” during by-polls. The army has ordered a court of inquiry, reported ANI news agency, quoting sources.
“If anyone in the Indian Army, at any rank, does any wrong and it comes to our notice, then strictest action will be taken. If Major Gogoi has done something wrong then I can say that he will be given due punishment and the punishment will be such that it will set an example,” said the Army Chief, who was on a visit to Srinagar to review the ground situation and open goodwill schools run by the army.
After his detention on Wednesday, Major Gogoi was handed over to his army unit. A senior police officer was asked to investigate what happened.
According to some reports, a room was booked online for him at a hotel near Dal Lake and he had checked into the hotel on Wednesday morning.
After some time, a woman came with a man, apparently to meet the officer, but weren’t allowed to go to the room. When Major Gogoi allegedly got into a row with the hotel staff, the police was called in and all three were taken to a police station.
A report by news agency Press Trust of India said the army officer, along with his driver and a woman had approached the front desk to check in but was told that he could not go to his room with the woman because she was a local resident. The officer told the police he had come for a “source meeting”.
Major Gogoi had made headlines when he tied a Kashmiri man, Farooq Ahmed Dar, to his jeep, reportedly to ensure that crowds don’t throw stones at polling staff he was escorting to safety.
The act was widely criticised by political parties, activists and others but the army gave him an award, saying he had saved lives.