A 28-year old female Indian Air Force officer at the air force administrative college in Coimbatore who was sexually assaulted, has levelled serious charges against the IAF authorities, including subjecting her to a banned finger test and also forcing her to withdraw the complaint against the accused flight lieutenant.
Image used for representational purpose only. Photograph: Reuters
The charges found place in the FIR registered by the police based on the complaint by the woman officer at the all-woman police station, after the IAF authorities including the college commandant failed to take any action in the incident, which happened on September 10, till September 20.
The woman also alleged she was subjected to ‘two-finger test’ at the air force hospital to ascertain rape, which was banned by the Supreme Court a few years ago.
The police had arrested the accused Amitesh Harmukh on September 25 and he is in judicial custody.
Both the rape victim and the accused, hailing from Chhattisgarh, were part of a training course and had attended a party in the officers’ mess on the night of September 9.
The woman officer in her complaint said the incident occurred in the wee hours of the next day when she was sleeping after taking medicine for her leg injury and was assaulted by the drunk officer, and she had narrated the incident to two of her batchmates, who recorded the conversation among the trio.
She then approached a wing commander about the incident, and the latter came to her room along with a woman wing commander and ‘advised’ her to think about the future including the name and respect of the family, based on which she communicated to one of her friends that she was not going to lodge any complaint.
However, as both the wing commanders again approached her and told her to either file the complaint or give in writing that the episode was consensual, she subsequently mustered courage and decided to file the complaint, amid the two-finger test in the evening in the hospital.
The victim further said she had handed over the mattress which had strains of semen to two women doctors, the FIR said.
After cajoling by two senior officers, who informed her that the test was negative, the commandant asked her to withdraw the case in writing saying if pursued, it will be flashed in the media and bring disrepute to the IAF and herself, the police said.
However, she went to the city police commissioner’s office on September 20 and from there to the all-woman police station and registered the case.
When contacted, a senior IAF officer, on condition of anonymity, refused to comment on the issue as the matter was in court and “sensitive”.
Meanwhile, the IAF had filed a petition in the court that the local police has no right to arrest the officer and only the defence court is the jurisdiction where a court martial can be conducted and therefore, to hand over the accused to the IAF.