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Lady Army officer claims sexual harassment

CNN-IBN
Jul 15, 2008 at 06:29pm IST

New Delhi: There has been another case of sexual harassment in the Indian Army.

An officer from the Army Service Corps is claiming that her Commanding Officer, the Second-in-Command and the adjutant have been sexually harassing her for the past few months.

The lady, a Captain in the Army, alleges that when she protested she was threatened to be sent away on temporary duty and later was put under house arrest. Her mother and brother were allegedly thrown out of the Kalka military station.

Army sources however deny the allegations. They say the lady officer was due to be transferred out of the Kalka station and since she didn't want to leave, she has been creating this fuss.

In Spetember last year, the General Officer Commanding the crucial 3 Infantry Division in Leh, Major General A K Lal, has been accused by a fellow woman officer Captain Neha Rawat of sexual harassment.

In a swift move the Army instituted a Court of Enquiry and has moved the General out from 14 Corp to the headquarters of 15 Corp to ensure the process is fair and objective.

Lal, who had been attached to Srinagar-based 15 Corps after the complaint by Rawat to ensure the process is fair and objective, was tried by a court of inquiry headed by Corps Commander Lt Gen A S Shekhon. He was declared guilty and has been reverted to Leh-based 14 Corps to face court martial proceedings and summary of evidence in the case.

The latest is another in the line of familiar stories, one that has repeated every time a woman officer has alleged misbehaviour against a male officer.

The tragic suicide of Sushmita Chakravarty, Flying Officer Anjali Gupta levelling similar charges and the Army Vice-Chief in 2006 kicking up a controversy by saying the Army could do without women are examples of the low comfort level the force has with the women officers.

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