Major Leetul Gogoi, who had last year created a stir after he tied a Kashmiri youth from Budgam to his jeep to escape a stone-throwing mob, has courted another controversy. The officer, awarded the Chief of Army Staff’s Commendation for sustained counter-insurgency operations, was detained by the police along with a girl at a hotel in Srinagar.
Major Gogoi, who booked a room online arrived at the hotel in a car . The hotel staff reportedly objected to a Kashmiri girl checking in with him, leading to a scuffle. The police, which recorded the Major’s statement before handing him over to his unit, are looking into the matter.
While the police claimed the girl had gone to the hotel to meet the officer, the hotel owner said they had objected to a local girl checking in as they “do not give rooms to locals.”
The police said they had received a call from Hotel Grand Mamta at Dalgate that an altercation had taken place. A police party was deputed to the hotel, and it surfaced that one woman and one man, namely Sameer Ahmed of Budgam, had come to see a guest at the hotel.
“But the hotel reception did not allow them to meet the person. The police party brought all of them to the police station. The identity and particulars of the officer have been collected. He was handed over to his unit after recording his statement. The statement of the woman is being recorded,” a police spokesman said.
However, hotel owner Manzoor Ahmed gave a different account of the incident.
“A guest, Leetul Gogoi had, booked a deluxe room through an online travel portal Wednesday morning. He came on his own at around 11 am. As the guest was writing his and other guest’s details we asked him about their identify proof as per the norms. He gave the identity card of the local girl. We objected to it because we have a policy that we do not give rooms to locals,” Manzoor said. Following this, Manzoor said the guest argued with the manager. “Later, the guest told his car driver about the denial of the room. The driver too had an argument with the staff and he pushed one of the managers. Later, things heated up. Some outsiders came in and thrashed the two men as it was not known by then that they were Army men,”Manzoor is reported to have said. Major Gogoi hit the headlines during the parliamentary bypolls in 2017 when he tied Farooq Ahmed Dar, a shawl-weaver, to his jeep to escape a stone-throwing mob.