Major Leetul Gogoi, who triggered 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 in Srinagar 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 the 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 was detained by the Jammu and Kashmir Police following an altercation at the hotel in Srinagar where he was allegedly trying to enter with an 18-year-old woman on May 23, 2018.
Days later, the Army had ordered the CoI into the incident after Army Chief General Bipin Rawat said in Pahalgam that exemplary punishment would be given to Major Gogoi if he was found guilty of "any offence".
"The CoI found Major Gogoi guilty of fraternising with a local in spite of instructions to the contrary and being away from the place of duty while in the operational area," the sources said.
On April 9, 2017, Major Gogoi triggered a controversy after he tied a civilian to the bonnet of his vehicle in Kashmir, purportedly as a shield against stone pelters during polling in the Srinagar Lok Sabha by-election.
(With PTI inputs)