Saved lives by tying man to jeep, says Major Leetul Gogoi

Srinagar
23 May 2017

At the centre of a controversy, Major Leetul Gogoi today appeared before the media to say that his action of tying a man to a jeep as a shield against stone-pelting last month was intended to save the lives of many people.

Breaking his silence, he said about 1200 stone-pelters had surrounded a small group of security personnel at a polling booth in Utligam village of Budgam district on April 9 and if he had ordered firing, there could have been at least 12 casualties. Gogoi, who was commended by the Army Chief on Monday, said he and five other army personnel had gone to that polling booth after a "distress call" about a small group of ITBP personnel and few members of the polling staff being surrounded by a big crowd of about 1200 stone-pelters.

The mob, which included women and children, was threatening to set ablaze the polling booth, he said. Amidst the mob, he said he saw a man who appeared to be the "ring leader" as he was "instigating" the stone-pelters at Utlgam, about 20 kms from his residence, on the day of bypoll to Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency on April 9.