Army HQ confirms court-martial verdict against Major Gogoi

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By IANS on 05/05/2019.

Army HQ confirms court-martial verdict against Major Gogoi

Srinagar, May 5:  The court martial ruling against controversial army Major Leetul Gogoi, recommending a reduction in his seniority and his posting out of the Kashmir Valley, has been confirmed by the Army headquarters, defence sources said.

Gogoi, who had hogged media headlines in 2017 when he tied a local youth in the state’s Badgam district to the bonnet of his jeep to escape and deter stone-pelting mobs, was court-martialled after being found “fraternising” with a local girl in May last year.

In its ruling on March 31, the military court, indicting the major and his driver Sameer Malla, recommended reduction in Gogoi’s seniority and shifting him out. Although it did not recommend his demotion, but the reduction in his seniority would prevent him from getting promoted to a higher rank along with his batch mates.

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The court had recommended a “severe reprimand” against Malla and other disciplinary action that his commanding officer deems appropriate.

With the army headquarters confirming the court-martial proceedings, the punishment against Gogoi and Malla has become operational, defence sources said.

Gogoi, whose use of the Kashmiri youth as a “human shield” had evoked strong criticism locally and also by the global rights watchdog Amnesty International, had again figured in controversy when he was caught trying to book into a Srinagar hotel with a local girl.

Taken into custody by police along with Malla, who was assisting him, he and his driver were handed over to the army, while the girl was sent back to her parents.

The army initiated court-martial proceedings against Gogoi and Malla subsequently