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SRINAGAR: The Army shifted Major Leetul Gogoi, who was at the centre of the human shield controversy, out of his unit and attached to local formation headquarters after being indicted by an Army Court of Inquiry for fraternising with a local woman in Srinagar.

 

Last month, the Court of Inquiry instituted by the army indicted Major Gogoi, an officer with 53 Rashtriya Rifles – a specialised anti-militancy force for Jammu and Kashmir, on two counts – fraternising with a local in spite of instructions to the contrary and being away from the place of duty while in operational area. It recommended Summary of Evidence against him, a step before court martial proceedings are initiated. Major Gogoi was shifted out of his unit in Budgam and attached to Awantipora-based Victor Force headquarters.

 

The officer, whose decision to tie a civilian to the bonnet of his vehicle in Kashmir on April 9 last year as a shield against stone-pelting by a mob had kicked up a huge controversy, will now face Summary of Evidence, a process similar to framing of charges. The process is likely to take in three months. Based on the Summary of Evidence to be compiled by competent authorities, the Army is likely to decide further action in the case, which may include General Court Martial or Summary General Court Martial.

 

Major Gogoi, who was commissioned as a lieutenant in December 2008, was detained by Jammu and Kashmir police on May 23 following an altercation at a hotel in Srinagar where he was allegedly trying to enter with an 18-year-old woman.