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Major Gogoi suffers ignominy of seniority reduction and exit from Kashmir Valley

Srinagar: Major Leetul Gogoi, who was at the centre of the 2017 'human shield controversy', will suffer the ignominy of reduction in seniority and exit from Kashmir Valley with the Army headquarters confirming the punishment for "fraternising" with a local woman last year, officials said here on Sunday.

A court-martial had held Gogoi and his driver Sameer Malla guilty on two counts - "fraternising" with a local woman in spite of instructions to the contrary and "being away from the place of duty while in operational area", the officials said.

The company commander of the unit of Malla, who was facing charges of unauthorised absence, has been authorised to decide on his punishment which includes a "severe reprimand".

Malla was recruited in the Territorial Army in 2017 and he was posted with 53 sector of Rashtriya Rifles, a counter-insurgency force fighting militancy in Jammu and Kashmir.

The proceedings of the court-martial were confirmed by the Army headquarters after which it was decided to shift him out the valley, the officials said, adding that the final orders were received very recently.

Gogoi and Malla's summary of evidence was completed in early February, followed by the initiation of the court-martial proceedings, they said.

The statements of both the accused as well as other witnesses were recorded by the Army court and the punishment, which has been vetted by the Army headquarters, has been given, they added.

Major Gogoi and his driver were detained by Jammu and Kashmir Police following an altercation with the hotel staff when he was allegedly trying to enter it with an 18-year-old woman on May 23 last year.

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