New Delhi: Major Leetul Gogoi, the officer who tied a civilian on the bonnet of his jeep during recent protests in the Kashmir Valley, has been honoured with a Chief Of Army Staff (COAS) Commendation Card. The award was conferred on him by Chief Of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat.
"Major Gogoi has been awarded COAS Commendation Card for sustained efforts in Counter-insurgency operations", the army sources have been quoted as saying.
These operations, they added, include the actions of the Major on April 9 during the Srinagar by-election, when a local -- later identified as Farooq Ahmad Dar -- was tied to the bonnet of an Army vehicle in Kashmir's Budgam.
The incident had kicked up a controversy amid a public outcry. After the video was circulated on social media, the civil and army authorities had launched separate investigations.
"While awarding the Officer, all factors including the notable performance of the officer and overall emerging indicators of the Court of Inquiry have been well-considered", the Army said in an official statement.
Army sources said Major Gogoi who belonged to the 53 Rashtriya Rifles took an on-the-spot decision to tie Dar on the bonnet of army jeep as his soldiers were passing through an area where there was intense stone-throwing.
Some reports had however said that Dar was not a protestor but a passer-by.