“I fainted when Army Major Leetul Gogoi one night barged into our house the first time and started enquiring about our well-being. He was accompanied by another man and both were in civvies. Later on I came to know that the man who is accompanying the Army Major is Sameer Mala from Lokipora Poshkar,” Arifa, the mother of local girl who was briefly detained by police along with Army Major at Srinagar hotel said.
Arifa broke her silence after hundreds of people from neighboring areas, as well as scribes approached her to know the version of her daughter. She hails from Central Kashmir’s Budgam district. Arifa lives in a shabby tin-shed, after her house was washed off in 2014 floods, with her husband and four children, the girl in question being the eldest one.
Army Major Leetul Gogoi was taken to the police station yesterday after an altercation with the hotel staff, which also involved his local driver Sameer. It started after he allegedly ‘tried to check in’ into a hotel with a local girl from Budgam.
The police have appointed Srinagar north zone SP Sajad Shah to probe the incident and Gogoi has been sent back to his camp in Budgam.
“I have three children, while my only daughter is only 17. It was in March when one night suddenly Army Major Gogoi along with the local Sameer Malla who also is an Army soldier entered into our tin shed. I was scared and fainted. Army Major enquired about our well-being and left the place,” Arifa said.
She said both Major Gogai and Sameer Malla frequently entered into our house during late night hours. The mere presence of Gogoi sent chills down my spine. Sameer used to converse with my daughter and I became doubtful but never knew she would be detained with the Army Major at a hotel,” she said.
Arifaa blamed Sameer Malla for all this fiasco. “It was Sameer who brought Major into my house and started luring my daughter. My daughter informed me that she is visiting Narbal branch of Jammu Kashmir Bank on Wednesday morning but it came as a shock to me when the local Sarpanch received a phone call from Police Station Khanyar informing that she has been detained for questioning,” she said.
A close relative feigned ignorance about the incident saying that he only knew that after cutting a sorry figure in class 10th examination she joined some Self Help Group.
Meanwhile, a police official said that initial investigation has revealed that girl is not a minor. “We are getting a report in this regard. There is nothing to hide. We will make the probe report public,” he said.
Arifa is not the real name of the woman.
(With inputs from CNS)