New Delhi, May 25: Standing up in the defence of Major Leetul Gogoi yet again, the government on Wednesday said that the military officers should be allowed to take decisions in war-like areas. Gogoi is the Army officer who is at the centre of a controversy over tying an alleged stone-pelter to a jeep to rescue trapped polling staff and local police in Budgam. He has been given a clean chit from the Army’s Court of Inquiry and will continue to serve in Kashmir.
Defence Minister Arun Jaitley while speaking to the media on Wednesday said that solutions to the problems faced by the military are to be provided by their officers and not by the politicians. “How a situation is to be dealt with when you are in a war-like zone… we should allow our Army officers to take a decision. They don’t have to consult MPs on what they should do under these circumstances,” he said.
The minister’s remarks comes at a time when the ‘human shield’ is being criticised while being called as the violation of human rights. As a matter of fact, last week, at the GST Council meet in Srinagar, Jaitley had said that the government is committed to security measures in dealing with violent protests in the Kashmir Valley.
Meanwhile, Gogoi also has the backing of Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat who has held that the officer did not commit any offence. Gogoi has been quoted as saying that his decision saved the lives of 12 civilians. “I took that step (using a human shield) just to save local people,” he said.
Major Gogoi of 53 Rashtriya Rifles has already been awarded by General Rawat with the chief of army staff commendation card for his “sustained efforts in counter-insurgency operations as well as his presence of mind and initiative to prevent bloodshed” during the April 9 incident at Beerwa in Budgam district.
The video was made public by former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah.
Meanwhile, Major Nitin Leetul Gogoi is being equated to a medieval war hero who defeated the Mughal Army in 1671 which was trying to conquer Assam. In his hometown in Namrup, people are tagging his act as daredevilry. On Facebook, Abhijit Baruah wrote, “Asom gourab Major Leetul Gogoi Zindabad (long live Major Leetul Gogoi, pride of Assam)!”
Noteworthy, an entrepreneur Shyam Kanu Mahanta wrote, “Such daredevilry can be only expected from descendants of Bir Lachit Borphukan. Proud of you Major Leetul Gogoi! Keep the flag flying high!”