Army Chief Gen. Bipin Rawat on Monday honoured Maj. Leetul Gogoi with a “commendation card” for “sustained efforts during counter-insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir”, the Army said.
In a quick-thinking, decisive step on April 9, Maj. Gogoi, of 53 Rashtriya Rifles, tied an alleged stone-pelter to the bonnet of an Army jeep, using him as a “human shield” to thwart a mob of hundreds of violent protesters armed with stones and sticks, thus rescuing a besieged team of poll officials and ITBP men deployed in Badgam for the violence-hit Srinagar byelection.
A video of this incident posted on social media immediately went viral and set off a controversy, with many supporting the young officer’s action, while others questioned the means he adopted.
Only the Chief or Army commanders can issue commendation cards to officers and men. This indicates that Maj. Gogoi is unlikely to be pulled up for his action by a court of inquiry which the Army claims is still probing the matter.