Mehbooba Mufti, the former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, on Monday praised the Indian Army’s decision to initiate disciplinary action against Major Leetul Gogoi.
Hours after a Court of Inquiry of the Indian Army found the Major guilty of violating army rules and conduct, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chief tweeted, “Army initiating disciplinary action against Major Gogoi is a welcome step. Only hope that unlike Pathribal and Machil fake encounters, it is taken to its logical conclusion.”
The “fake encounters” Mufti was referring to the 29 April 2010 killing of some Kashmiri youth in Machil and the 24-25 March 2000 shooting of five villagers in Pathribal.
Earlier today, Major Gogoi was held guilty of fraternising with a local in spite of clear instructions to the contrary and for being away from the place of duty while in an operational area.
The Court of Inquiry ordered disciplinary action against the officer of the 53 Rashtriya Rifles, who was on 23 May detained by the Jammu and Kashmir Police following a scuffle at a hotel in Srinagar where he was found with an 18-year-old local woman.
A brawl between Major Gogoi and the staff broke out after the hotel management didn’t allow him to book a room with the local girl. The girl, too, was detained by the police.
The Army had taken cognisance of the matter and order the inquiry.
Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat ad earlier promised the “strictest punishment” as per Army rules if Major Gogoi was found guilty.
“If Major Gogoi has done something wrong then I can convincingly tell you that he will be given due punishment soon and the punishment will be such that it will set an example,” the General said.
Major Gogoi shot to national attention following a 2017 incident in which he tied a man to his jeep purportedly as a ‘shield’ against stone pelters during polling in the Srinagar Lok Sabha by-election on 9 April.
Mufti was then the Chief Minister of the state leading a coalition government with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).