Srinagar, May 25 The Army today ordered a court of inquiry against Major Nitin Leetul Gogoi, who was detained by police earlier this week following an altercation when he was allegedly trying to enter a hotel with an 18-year-old woman, officials said.
The future course of action would be decided based on the findings of the probe, the officials said.
The decision to order a court of inquiry came shortly after Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat said in Pahalgam that exemplary punishment would be given to Gogoi if he was found guilty “any offence”.
“If any officer of the Indian Army is found guilty of any offence, we will take strictest possible action,” Rawat told reporters in Pahalgam, about 95 km from here, 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.
Jammu and Kashmir police is already conducting an investigation into the May 23 incident when the major along with his driver and a young woman from Budgam were handed over to the police.
The 18-year-old girl had accompanied Major Gogoi and his driver to a hotel on Wednesday. They were detained after Major Gogoi and his driver got into an altercation with the hotel staff over being denied entry.
“The room was booked online. A person came along with a local girl and sought (to go to) the room. Our hotel manager asked him for his identity and the identity of the girl. The girl was a local and according to our hotel policy we don’t provide rooms to local unmarried couples,’’ said the hotel owner, Manzoor Ahmad.
Former Corp commander of the Chinar Corps, Lt General (retd) Syed Ata Hasain, wrote on Twitter that the “only legal sticking point can be the Major’s presence in an unauthorised area”.
Major Gogoi sparked a row in April last year when he tied a local, Farooq Ahmed Dar, to his jeep and paraded him through 28 villages in Budgam district, apparently to escape stone pelting.
Last April, during by-elections for the Srinagar Lok Sabha seat, Major Gogoi had tied a civilian, Farooq Ahmad Dar, to a bonnet of his jeep as a human shield to deter stone-pelters from targeting his troops. The incident led to a massive human rights controversy.