In the investigation into the fracas involving Major Leetul Gogoi at a hotel in Srinagar on Wednesday, the Jammu & Kashmir Police have recorded the statement of the girl who was detained with him.
The Army officer had courted controversy last year when he had made a youth in Budgam a human shield to escape stone-throwers during parliamentary bypoll.
In the statement recorded before a Magistrate under Section 164 of the CrPC, which is voluntary and admissible as evidence, the girl has said that she came to the hotel “of her own free will” as she wanted to spend time with the Army officer who was “already known” to her, highly placed sources told Kashmir Post.
“Mein yahan apni marzi say aaye houn (I have come here (to the hotel) of my own free will,” she told the Magistrate while recording her statement in the presence of a Sub-Divisional Magistrate and a DSP-rank official and Superintendent of Police (North), who is heading the probe, said sources privy to the proceedings.
During the recording of her statement, it also came to the fore that the girl (name withheld) is a major. She showed the magistrate her Aadhaar card, which mentioned her year of birth as 1999, the sources said. Whether she is really a major, however, still is a subject of inquiry as it needs to be corroborated from other sources.
“While showing her documents that indicated that she was a major, she stated that she was there out of her own ‘marzi’ (free will),” said an official, who was present during recording of the statement.
The woman hailing from Budgam district said she and Major Gogoi “knew each other” and she had met him on “several occasions on outings” in the past, the sources said.
When cross-examined, she claimed before the Magistrate that she first came in contact with the Major through a Facebook account named “Aadil Adnan”, the sources said.
She said that just within a month she came to know that Aadil Adnan was none other than Major Gogoi, who had faked his real identity. She told the Magistrate that thereafter Major Gogoi himself “disclosed his real identity” to her and thereafter they became friends.
When asked why did she come to Srinagar and then to the hotel, she said: “Bus chakra vakrah karnih (just to have fun),” the sources said.
When asked about the second Army man, the driver Sameer Ahmad who also hails from Budgam district, the girl told the magistrate that “he was known to her.” But when confronted by the Magistrate about Sameer’s family, the woman could not tell his parents’ names.
Hotel manager contradicts police version
The statement of hotel manager and co-owner Ajaz Ahmad before the Magistrate is contradictory to the police version.
He stated that “they (Major Gogoi and the local woman) entered the hotel premises together and wanted to check into the already booked room together”.
“I recorded my statement without any pressure or duress. Major Gogoi had not checked in already as was told by the police in its statement to the media. The woman was wearing a headscarf and her face was uncovered and she looked like a local,” said Aijaz.