SRINAGAR: The Kashmiri woman whom Major Nitin Leetul Gogoi went to check in with at a downtown hotel on Wednesday has told a judicial magistrate that she was his “Facebook friend” and had gone to see him “of her own free will”, even as her mother disputed it.
Already mired in the controversy for tying a Kashmiri man to a jeep as a “human shield” against stone-pelters last year, Major Gogoi was questioned at a police station on Wednesday after an altercation broke out with the staff of the hotel.
However, the woman (name withheld) has deposed before a local magistrate under Section 164 of the CrPC and stated that she was friends with the major on the social networking site. Official sources said the woman told the magistrate that she went to the hotel “of her own free will” because she wanted to spend time with the Army officer who was “already known” to her.
“Mein yahan apni marzi say aayee hun (I have come here of my own free will),” she told the sub-divisional magistrate, a DSP-rank official and the superintendent of police (north), who is heading the probe. She told the magistrate that she and Major Gogoi had met on “several occasions” during their “outings”, sources said.
The woman, who is from Check-e-Kawoosa village of Budgam district, showed the magistrate her Aadhaar card, which mentioned her year of birth as 1999, sources said. The woman, who has studied till Class 10, has been working with a self-help group. “Whether she is really an adult is still a subject of inquiry; it needs to be corroborated from other sources,” an official said.
When cross-examined, the woman claimed before the magistrate that she first came in contact with the Gogoi through a Facebook account named “Aadil Adnan”. But within a month she came to know that Aadil Adnan was none other than Major Gogoi, who was using a fake identity. She told the magistrate that Major Gogoi himself “disclosed his real identity” to her and thereafter they became friends.
Though she claimed that she also knew Gogoi’s aide Sameer Ahmad Mala of Lokipora Poshkar, Budgam, she was not able to tell his parents’ names when questioned by the magistrate.
However, her mother, Naseema Begum, claimed that Major Gogoi and Mala, who is also an Army soldier, raided their house several times in civvies since March this year and engaged her daughter in conversations “without any reason”.
Ever since their house was washed out in the 2014 floods, Naseema, her husband and their four children, including the woman, have been living in a tin shed.
“I have three little boys and a daughter who is just 17. Both Major Gogoi and Sameer Mala would frequently visit our house during late-night hours. The mere presence of Gogoi sent chills down my spine. Sameer used to converse with my daughter. I became doubtful but never knew she would be detained with the Army major at a hotel,” she said.
Her daughter did not tell her that she was going to Srinagar but instead had asked permission to go to the Narbal branch of Jammu & Kashmir Bank, she said. Naseema blamed Sameer for bringing the major to their house to “lure” her daughter.