Alleging harassment, a female Air Force officer has said she had to “relive the trauma” of the sexual assault after she complained against a 29-year-old colleague, a Flight Lieutenant who was arrested in the rape case on Sunday in Tamil Nadu’s Coimbatore.
She said the IAF (Indian Air Force) doctors subjected her to the banned and intrusive two-finger test, the use of which has triggered widespread outrage in the past over violating the survivor’s right to privacy. It is also believed to be unscientific.
In her police complaint, the officer also alleged that she was questioned about her “sexual history”.
The woman, who had travelled to the Air Force College for training, said the assault took place inside her room at the Air Force Administrative College in Coimbatore’s Redfields.
The assault took place about two weeks ago and the officer said she was forced to go to the police because she was not satisfied with action taken by the IAF after her original complaint. Twice, she said, she was made to submit a withdrawal – of the complaint letter – in writing and another time, she was asked to sign a letter with changes made, which she refused to sign.
In a statement, the Air Force said: “The IAF is cooperating with the police investigation and is also conducting an internal inquiry. We cannot comment any further as the matter is subjudice.”
The initial investigation was carried out by an all-women team from the city’s Gandhipuram Police Station. A case of sexual assault under section 376 was registered.
The accused officer, a 29-year-old Flight Lieutenant, had come from Chattisgarh for training at the Air Force Facility near Race Course, officials say.
He was arrested by the city police amid objection from his lawyer, who said that “the Coimbatore Police don’t have powers to arrest an Air Force officer”. He argued “only military procedure ought to be followed”. The court had initially remanded the accused for two days.
Coimbatore Commissioner of Police Deepak M Damor told NDTV, “There is no provision in (the) law to transfer an FIR to the Air Force. Police will complete the investigation and file a report before the court.”
National Commission for Women (NCW) takes suo motu cognisance of a media report wherein it has been reported that a female Air Force officer was subjected to two-finger test by Indian Air Force doctors after she had alleged sexual assault against a colleague who has been arrested pic.twitter.com/SuKTgZo28Z
— ANI (@ANI) September 30, 2021
The National Commission for Women (NCW) has said it has taken note of a report about the Air Force officer being subjected to two-finger test by Indian Air Force doctors. NCW chief Rekha Sharma, the women’s body said, has written to the Air Chief Marshal to look into the matter.