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 Leetul Gogoi on Tuesday defended his act by saying that he took the step "to save the local people."
"We went to a polling booth to check the security situation, and then some people started pelting stones at us. Then, the stone-pelters started throwing petrol bombs at us. I took that step just to save local people," Major Gogoi said in a press briefing here.
Earlier, the political parties were left irked when Major Gogoi was awarded by Chief of Army Staff's ( COAS) Commendation Card for his sustained distinguished service till now in counter-insurgency operations in the state, citing that his measures against stone-pelters would only aggravate the situation in the Valley.
The officer was awarded by Army chief Gen. Bipin Rawat during his recent visit to Jammu and Kashmir.
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.