Army chief Bipin Rawat on Tuesday said Major Leetul Gogoi, who was found guilty of “fraternising” with a local resident at a hotel in Srinagar and “being away from his place of duty while in an operational area” will be punished keeping in mind the gravity and nature of crime committed by him, reported PTI.

Any case of moral turpitude and corruption in the Army will be dealt with sternly, he said at an event in Delhi.

Last month, a Court of Inquiry held Gogoi guilty and issued orders to initiate disciplinary action against him. “The Court of Inquiry has recommended that we should go in for court martial proceedings,” said Rawat. “If it is related to moral turpitude, then we will take action accordingly. If it is something else, the punishment will be [according] to the crime he has committed.”

Gogoi was detained on May 23 after he was involved in an altercation at a hotel in Srinagar. He was allegedly trying to check into the hotel with a woman, reportedly in violation of Army protocol in a conflict zone. Days later, the Army ordered a Court of Inquiry against Gogoi. A Court of Inquiry is a tribunal set up to investigate a matter and decide if the accused should be subjected to a court martial.

On September 1, a Srinagar court directed the police to investigate the case further, saying the initial investigation was done in a casual manner without ascertaining facts.

Army chief on social media use

Speaking at a seminar on “Social Media and Armed Forces” in New Delhi on Tuesday, Rawat said that soldiers cannot be prevented from using smartphones or using social media, reported ANI. “Our adversary will use social media for psychological warfare and deception, so we must leverage it to our advantage,” he said.

Rawat said it is important to use social media due to the growing use of artificial intelligence in modern day warfare and that the Army should use it to the optimum. However, some form of discipline should be imposed on how soldiers use social media, he said.

Last year, the Border Security Force launched an inquiry into the quality of food served to jawans after constable Tej Bahadur Yadav posted a series of videos on social media, alleging they get poor quality food and are at times forced to sleep on an “empty stomach”.

In another incident, a jawan had criticised the prevalent “sahayak system” in a video posted on his Facebook page, accusing some senior Army officials of treating juniors like slaves.