Woman who met Major Gogoi in Srinagar hotel is 19 years old, say police
The Jammu and Kashmir Police on Wednesday informed a local court that the woman who was detained along with Major Leetul Gogoi last week is 19 years old and had gone with the officer of her own volition.
Police also informed the court that neither the woman nor the hotel owner lodged any formal complaint against Major Gogoi.
In a report submitted by Station House Officer, Khanyar in the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) Srinagar, the police said that woman in her statement recorded before a magistrate said that she had gone with the Army Major on her own choice and there was no pressure on her.
On Saturday, the CJM had sought the status report of the investigation of the hotel fracas involving Major Gogoi on the petition of human rights activist, Ahsan Untoo. The woman was initially suspected to be a minor.
While informing the court that the woman is 19 years old, the police also attached the school records of the teenager with the report mentioning her age. Police conveyed the court that the woman told the magistrate that she befriended the army officer on Facebook and a month ago she came to know that he (Gogoi) was in the army. She had also told the magistrate that she spoke to Sameer Malla and Major Gogoi over the phone and met them at Magam on the day police detained them after they got into an altercation at the hotel.
Police in its report said that woman told the magistrate that she decided to travel with the officer of her own volition. The police report said the woman was handed over to her maternal uncle and Major Gogoi and Sameer Malla were handed over to their unit.
Last week Army chief General Bipin Rawat had promised “exemplary punishment” for Major Gogoi if he was found guilty of violating rules. The army has already ordered a court of inquiry against the officer.
Major Gogoi hit the headlines last year during bye-election for the Srinagar Lok Sabha seat after he tied a Kashmiri civilian to the front of his vehicle and claimed that he did so to prevent stone-pelters from targeting his convoy.
The incident led to a human rights controversy. General Rawat had awarded Gogoi a commendation card for his “sustained efforts” on counter-insurgency operations.