A 29-year-old Flight Lieutenant, accused of rape by his colleague, will be tried under the Court Martial Act, a court in Tamil Nadu’s Coimbatore ruled on Thursday as the case was handed over to the Indian Air Force (IAF).
The Air Force officer who had accused his colleague of rape had alleged she was discouraged from filing a complaint, subjected to the two-finger test – which is banned – by the IAF (Indian Air Force) doctors, and questioned about her sexual history. All this, she said, made her “relive the trauma of the sexual assault”.
In a statement, the National Commission for Women on Thursday said it has raised the issue with the IAF, stressing that it is ” .. utterly disappointed and strongly condemns the action of Indian Air Force doctors conducting the banned two-finger test on the victim, thereby violating the Supreme Court’s decision and also violating the right to privacy and dignity of the victim.”
The woman, who had travelled to the Air Force Administrative College in Coimbatore’s Redfields for training, said she had to file an FIR (First Information Report) as the last resort after she was left hopeless with the inaction.
On the day of the assault, about two weeks ago, the woman said, she had injured herself while playing. She then took some medication before going to sleep in her room. She woke up later that to find she had been sexually assaulted.
Police said they had acted only after having been told the woman officer was unhappy with the Air Force’s handling of her complaint.
The accused was arrested on Sunday amid objections from his lawyer. “The Coimbatore Police don’t have powers to arrest an Air Force officer,” the police was told by the lawyer, who also presented his case before the court.
Amid outrage, an IAF statement on Thursday read: “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.”