Major`s Gogoi`s `cool-headedness` saved lives of civilians, Army personnel: Defence Experts

| Updated: May 24, 2017 08:48 IST

New Delhi [India], May 24 (ANI): Hours after Major Leetul Gogoi broke his silence regarding his action of tying a stone-pelter to his jeep, the defence experts on Wednesday lauded the former, saying that the professionalism and cool-headedness he displayed was exemplary. Defence expert P.K. Sehgal said everybody must have been convinced of Gogoi's sincerity, genuineness, compassion and his concern for human rights after listening to him. "He acted in a valorous manner in such a difficult situation. The professionalism and cool-headedness that he displayed is something exemplary. By his doing, he saved the lives of civilians, officers of the polling booth. It must have put to shame all those who have been raising fingers at Gogoi," Sehgal told ANI. Another defence expert Praful Bakshi said keeping in mind the limitation on means of warfare and method of warfare, Gogoi resorted to such an action and ended up making the situation controllable. "An army officer is told that there is limitation on your means of warfare and method of warfare. Keeping the same in mind, he resorted to this. The result of his act was neither any stone-pelting took place, nor any rounds of fire and the situation came under control. His tactic was a very rare one. We should thank him and praise him," Bakshi told ANI. After the Jammu and Kashmir Police refused to quash the First Information Report (FIR) against him for tying a man to the bonnet of his jeep to serve as a 'human shield', Major Gogoi yesterday defended his act by saying that he took the step "to save the people trapped in the polling booth." "I got a call on April 9, when the by-election was being held in the Budgam sector of Jammu and Kashmir. I got a call from an officer, who informed me that around 1,200 people had cornered their booth and were trying to burn it with petrol bombs. When I went there, I somehow managed to rescue the polling staff and tried to escort them away to safety, but it was proving very difficult in the face of more than 1,200 stone-pelters," he told in a press briefing here. He said that at that time he saw the man who was instigating the crowd and was even-raising anti-national slogans. So, they caught the man after which the crowd dispersed a bit. "It was very difficult to control them; their number was considerably increasing. I could have opened fire, but that would have even worsened the situation. At that time suddenly in my mind, I thought to tie the stone-pelters to the jeep. Seeing this, the stone-pelting stopped. Then I got a safe window to come out. I did these things just to save the local people. Had I not done it, 12 people would have died," Gogoi said. The officer was awarded by Chief of Army Staff's (COAS) Commendation Card for his sustained distinguished service till now in counter-insurgency operations in the Valley. Major Gogoi was in the spotlight after a video shot during the April 9 Srinagar Lok Sabha by-polls, posted on the social media, showed a man tied on the bonnet of an Army jeep in Jammu and Kashmir's Badgam. The video went viral and sparked a major controversy, with one faction condemning the Army's action while the other commended their ingenuity. The Court of Inquiry regarding April 9 incident is under finalisation. (ANI)
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