New Delhi (Sputnik): The Indian Army has initiated disciplinary action against Major Nitin Leetul Gogoi, popularly known as "human shield Major" after a court of inquiry found him guilty of having an "unauthorized" relationship with a Kashmiri woman and being away from his place of duty during deployment in an operational area.
"Orders have been issued to initiate disciplinary action (against Maj Leetul Gogoi). The court has held him accountable for fraternizing locals in spite of instructions to the contrary and being away from the place of duty while in an operational area," an Indian Army official informed the media on Monday.
Reversal of fortunes: Major Leetul #Gogoi, who shot to fame for tying a stone pelter as human shield to a jeep, to face court-martial for fraternising with a woman source in #Kashmir— Rohan Dua (@rohanduaTOI) August 27, 2018
Was given clean chit in 2017 Jeep row but indicted in hotel row where @JmuKmrPolice detained him pic.twitter.com/QlMbIgkmOB
I was among the few reporters present on spot, when the Gogoi hotel incident happened. Now that he has been found guilty. Here's all you need to know about Major Leetul Gogoi Srinagar hotel incident. https://t.co/kmkojl6GeF— Qazi Wasif (@mewass) August 27, 2018
"If any officer of the Indian Army is found guilty of any offense, we will take the strictest possible action. 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 Indian Army chief had said after Gogoi was apprehended by Jammu and Kashmir police.
Major Gogoi being indicted by the court of inquiry has garnered mixed reactions from different quarters.
Farooq Ahmad Dar, an Kashmiri artisan who was used as a "human shield" by the officer, welcomed the decision saying, "Justice has been finally done."
"I am thankful to the Almighty. The person who ruined my life has to face the wrath of God finally. God has his ways to do justice," local news agency PTI quoted Dar as saying.
“I am thankful to the Almighty. The person who ruined my life has to face the wrath of God finally", Dar said. https://t.co/SyxkFrRB7P— News18 (@CNNnews18) August 27, 2018
Major Gogoi had, last year, tied Dar to the bonnet of an army jeep, using him as a shield against stone pelters in Kashmir's Budgam district. While this incident garnered global attention and sparked a controversy, Dar was shunned by villagers for allegedly being a government agent.
Meanwhile, there have been messages circulating on social media describing the action against Major Gogoi as unjust and politicized.