Too many loopholes in initial reports alleging arrest of Major Gogoi

Major Leetul Gogoi had become a national hero last year, when he employed an odd but unique solution to save army men from a crowd of stone-pelters in Kashmir. In order to stop the situation from getting volatile and causing casualties on both sides, Major Gogoi had tied one of the stone-pelters to the army jeep so that stone-pelting stops. He was later awarded Chief of Army Staff’s Commendation Card for sustained efforts in counter-insurgency operations.

Now reports have emerged which claim that he has been “arrested” in Kashmir. The details of the incident are yet to be clear, but multiple versions are doing the rounds.

One of the earliest versions of this story was published in a Kashmiri site called thekashmirwalla.com. This story was shared by many including journalist Sagarika Ghose who herself has been caught sharing fake news on Twitter very often. This story itself has conflicting versions. First, it claims that “locals” say they caught Major Gogoi in a “compromising position” with a teenage girl

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However, the same report later states that the hotel receptionist did not allow the girl and her companion to meet Gogoi. This version has been repeated in a video, which is alleged to be of the manager of the hotel.

This same line of “compromising position” was then repeated by another portal called globalkashmir.net

Next, as the initial report in the thekashmirwalla.com claims, one woman and one man had allegedly come to meet Major Gogoi. Yet, the popular version of this news says Major Gogoi arrested with a girl. For example this report in thekashmirpress.com, is headlined: “Major Gogoi arrested along with minor girl from Srinagar hotel” and claims that he had come to the hotel with a minor girl. There is no mention of the companion.

Outlook magazine too followed the same style, although its report clearly stated that a man too was accompanying the girl.

Next, the report in Kashmirpress as above, and the video of the manager claim that the girl was a minor. Journalist Barkha Dutt also claims that reporters from Kashmir have said the same.

But the first story by thekashmirwalla.com claims that documents showed that the girl was born in 1999, which means she could have been over 18 years old, but definitely not 16 as per above screenshot.

Co-founder of alleged “fake news busting site” Alt-News too claimed that locals alleged the girl is a minor. These same locals have claimed the “compromising position” when the receptionist and other reports claimed that he did not allow them to meet at all.

Users also questioned the logic of using own name, credit card and online booking method, if the room was to be used for questionable purposes

Details are still emerging but there are too many conflicting reports. Whether the girl came alone or with another male. Whether the girl was a minor or not. Whether the girl met Major Gogoi and was caught in a “compromising position” or was stopped from meeting by the hotel receptionist. Whether Major Gogoi has been arrested or detained. All these questions are yet to be answered.

This incident happens to be during the unilateral ceasefire announced by the Indian Government during the month of Ramzan. However, terrorists have not paid heed to this ceasefire and have attacked army personnel as well as civilians.

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