New Delhi: An Army officer was briefly detained by the police after an altercation at a Srinagar hotel over allowing the entry of a Kashmiri woman. The officer, Major Leetul Gogoi, who triggered a major row last year when he tied a civilian to the bonnet of his vehicle, was later handed over to his army unit. A senior police officer has been ordered to conduct an inquiry to ascertain the complete facts. The circumstances of Major Gogoi's detention aren't clear yet.
- Major Leetul Gogoi was detained by the police at a Srinagar hotel
- A Kashmiri woman was supposed to go to his room, but wasn't allowed
- Last year, he tied a man to his jeep reportedly to prevent stone throwing
According to one version, a room was booked online for him at a hotel near Srinagar's famed Dal Lake and he had checked into the hotel on Wednesday morning.
After some time, a woman along with a man came to meet the officer but weren't allowed to go to the room. There was an altercation, the police was called in and all three were taken to the city's Khanyar police station.
"We have initiated a probe why the officer had asked the girl to come and meet him," a senior level officer of Jammu Kashmir Police told NDTV.
A report by news agency Press Trust of India later said the army officer, along with his driver and a woman had approached the front desk to check-in but was told that he could not go to his room with the woman because she was a local resident. This led to an altercation between the hotel staffers and the officer's driver.
PTI said the police have asked for the hotel's CCTV footage as well as the room reservation form filled by the officer as part of its probe. The officer told the police he had come for a "source meeting".
Srinagar-based Corps Commander Lt Gen AK Bhatt has been apprised of the situation, the official said. The incident took place just a day before Army chief Bipin Rawat is due to visit Srinagar to review the ground situation and open goodwill schools run by the army.
Major Gogoi had made headlines when he tied a Kashmiri man Farooq Ahmed Dar to his jeep, reportedly to ensure that crowds don't throw stones at polling staff he was escorting to safety.
His action was widely criticised by political parties and civil liberty groups.
The army had backed the officer who said he had saved lives of local people which would have been lost if he had opened fire. Army Chief Bipin Rawat had responded to criticism, saying innovative tactics were required for Kashmir where a "dirty war" is on.
An inquiry by the army did not find anything wrong with his action. He was awarded the Army Chief of Army Staff Commendation Card.
A police probe had, however, revealed that Farooq Ahmed Dar, a shawl maker, had cast his vote at a polling booth just before he was picked up. The police report had contradicted the officer's claim that Farooq Dar was instigating a stone-throwing mob and could have been their ring leader.
But the police are yet to wrap up the probe for using the shawl maker as a human shield. "The case is at the stage of evaluation of evidence," a senior officer of state police told NDTV.