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Trooper, who was found guilty of helping Army officer to ‘fraternise’ with teenage Kashmir girl, goes missing

An Indian trooper, who was probed for his links with an army officer, who used local Kashmiri as a human shield in Jammu and Kashmir in 2017, has gone missing, reports said on Tuesday.

Sameer Malla, the missing trooper is a resident working with Jammu and Kashmir Territorial Army and has been missing since Monday evening, reported a section of media.

Reports said Malla’s links with Major Leetul Gogoi, the Army officer involved with using a human shield on his military jeep during the 2017 Srinagar by-poll, had been probed by the police.

Police in Srinagar had investigated his role after he allegedly transported Major Leetul Gogoi and a local girl to the Srinagar hotel in his private car.

Gogoi has been punished by the army with a loss of seniority of six months after he was found with a local girl in a Srinagar hotel in May 2018.

Reacting to the reports that his son has gone missing, Muhammad Yaqoob Mall, the father of the missing trooper said that it will be premature to claim that his son is missing.

“He might have gone to see his relatives. His wife had to undergo surgery and that is why he visited home from Jammu.

He was in touch with us and last evening he called his mother and then his phone went off,” Yaqoob told news agency Kashmir News Trust.

Malla- a resident of Lokipora in Tehsil Khag of Central Kashmir’s Budgam district was recruited as a driver into J&K’s Territorial Army in 2017. After completing his training, he was posted at 53 RR at Beerwah.

Malla, who was found with Major Gogoi in that hotel was also punished by a court-martial.

The court-martial had found Major Gogoi guilty of ‘fraternizing’ with a local girl in violation of official orders on the subject and for “being away from the place of duty while in operational area”. The court-martial followed the recording of a summary of evidence against the officer after the Army Court of Inquiry (CoI) had recommended disciplinary action against Major Gogoi for the Srinagar hotel incident.

On May 23, 2018, Major Gogoi was detained by police following an altercation with the hotel staff when he was allegedly trying to enter inside with an 18-year-old Kashmiri woman. The woman had expressed her unwillingness to depose during the court-martial proceedings and informed the Army authorities that she had given a statement before a magistrate and the same should be treated as her final stand. The woman had also stated that she had gone out with Major Gogoi of her own will, besides disclosing that she had become a friend of the Army officer through his fake Facebook profile, where he had named himself Ubaid Arman.

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