Major Gogoi of ‘Human Shield’ Infamy Detained at Hotel With Local Woman, Police Begin Probe
The Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) Police are investigating an incident at a Srinagar hotel involving a ‘local’ woman and Major Gogoi — the Indian army major who had tied a Kashmiri youth to the bonnet of an army jeep and paraded him as a ‘human shield’ last April in Budgam district.
Major Nitin Leetul Gogoi was detained, along with the woman and his driver, by police after a brawl at the hotel on 23 May. According to reports, the army major was trying to check in to a room that he had booked online at Hotel Grand Mamta.
But the hotel staff denied entry to the woman, on the grounds that she was a local.
Around 10.15am, Major Gogoi reportedly reached the hotel in civilian clothing, along with the woman. He had reportedly booked the room for one night through a website at around 8:30am, had cited a business tour and even requested a pick-up from the airport. But he arrived before the hotel could send a driver to pick him up.
At the hotel reception, Major Gogoi produced a non-military identification for himself while the woman produced her Aadhaar card, which mentioned her address in Budgam. The hotel staff informed them that locals were not allowed to check in to hotels for security reasons. Major Gogoi then left for his car along with the woman, but his local driver identified as Sameer returned to the hotel and began a brawl. Other people also got involved in the physical altercation, including the Major.
The hotel staff called the police, and the cops took the Major, the woman and the driver to the police station. All three were released the same day, and Major Gogoi was sent to his army camp in Budgam.
The police are yet to confirm whether the ‘local’ woman was a minor or an adult.
On late afternoon of 23 May, inspector general of police (Kashmir), SP Pani ordered a probe into the incident, to be conducted by Srinagar (north zone) superintendent of police Sajad Shah.
The J&K Police said in an official statement, “It was learnt that the woman had come to meet an Army officer. The identity and particulars of the Army officer has been collected by the police as well.” The statement did not mention the name of the army officer or the woman.
News reports said no FIR was registered and only police statements were recorded.
After the ‘human shield’ incident created an outcry across the country last year, Major Gogoi was awarded with the Army Chief’s ‘Commendation Card’ for his efforts in counter-insurgency operations last May.
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