In a surprising move, Army on Monday announced that the Major who tied a Kashmiri to a military vehicle as a precaution against stone-pelters has been awarded a commendation by Army Chief General Bipin Rawat.
The Army Chiefâ€™s decision comes even as the Court of Inquiry (CoI) against Major Leetul Gogoi continues and in the face of intense criticism of the action from various sections including many within the Army.
â€œMajor Leetul Gogoi has been awarded COAS Commendation Card for sustained efforts in Counter Insurgency (CI) operations,â€ Army sources said on Monday.
This comes a week after the Army had denied that its Court of Inquiry had given a clean chit to the officer who tied a local youth to a jeep as human shield to avoid attack from stone-pelters.
â€œThe award was given for his good work in CI operations in the Valley including this incident,â€ a source said adding that Gen Rawat decided to give the Commendation during his recent visit to Kashmir valley and it was presented to Maj Gogoi through proper channels.
Meanwhile, the CoI ordered into the incident is yet to conclude and officials said that it is a long process. â€œThere are a lot of civilian witnesses to whom summons have been issued,â€ one Army source said stating that it would take some time.
â€œImage of a ‘stone pelter’ tied in front of a jeep as a ‘human shield’, will forever haunt the Indian Army & the nation,â€ Lt Gen HS Panag, former Northern Commander had tweeted after the incident came to light.