Officer caught with Kashmiri woman faces punishment: Army Chief

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New Delhi, Sep 4 (IANS) Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat on Tuesday said court martial proceedings will be initiated against the officer who was caught with a woman in a Srinagar hotel on May 23 and he will be suitably punished.

“I have very clearly said that any case of moral turpitude and corruption will be dealt with in a very stern manner,” Gen Rawat told reporters on the sidelines of an Army function here.

He was replying to a question about Major Leetul Gogoi, who has been indicted by a court of inquiry on two counts: for fraternizing with a local in spite of instructions to the contrary and being away from the place of duty while in an operational area.

The Army chief said the probe had recommended that “action will be taken (against the officer) based on his guilt that emerges from this”.

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“If it is related directly to moral turpitude, then we will take action accordingly. If it is something else, then punishment will be given according to the crime he has committed. We should go in for court martial proceedings for whatever he has been found guilty of.”

Major Gogoi was caught on May 23 in a Srinagar hotel with a Kashmiri woman and a man who works for the Army. He was questioned by police and was let off after the woman told the police that she had wilfully accompanied the officer.

Gen Rawat, during a visit to Srinagar after the incident, said “strictest possible action” would be taken if Major Gogoi was found guilty “of any offence”.

Major Gogoi hit the headlines in April 2017 when he tied Farooq Dar, a Kashmiri artisan, to the bonnet of his military vehicle to deter stone pelters from attacking his troops and election staff in Budgam district in the Kashmir Valley.

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The incident took place after last year’s by-elections in the Valley. An FIR was filed against Major Gogoi after the April 9 incident.

The officer, who is said to have been effective in counter-insurgency operations in the Kashmir Valley, was awarded a commendation certificate by the Army chief last year.

–IANS

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