Woman Army Officer Alleges Sexual Harassment By Senior

20/10/2015 9:59 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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NEW DELHI, INDIA - JANUARY 15: Women officer contingent of the Indian Army march during the Army Day parade at Delhi Cantt on January 15, 2015 in New Delhi, India. It was first time a woman officer contingent was part of the parade. Every year Indian Army celebrates 15th January as Army Day to commemorate the day when General (later Field Marshal) KM Carriappa took over the command of Army from General Sir FRR Bucher, the last British Commander-in-Chief in 1949 and became the first Commander-in-Chief of Indian Army post-Independence. (Photo by Arun Sharma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

ALWAR -- A woman army officer, who took part in the Republic Day parade this year to showcase 'Nari Shakti', has alleged sexual harassment by her senior officer, prompting an inquiry into the matter.

"Post receipt of complaint from a Woman Officer of sexual harassment against an Ex - Commanding Officer, an inquiry has already been convened for investigation of the case and it is under progress," Rajasthan-based Defence Ministry spokesman Lt Col Manish Ojha said in a statement.

"Indian Army remains committed to upholding highest standards of ethical behavior by all ranks," he added.

The 26-year-old Captain of the Signal Corps is posted at Alwar Military Station in Rajasthan and was commissioned into the Indian Army only in March 2013, according to sources.

Though the original complaint was filed nearly two months ago, the committee on sexual harassment of women at workplace met only earlier this month. It has recommended "necessary action" to be initiated against her commanding officer.

Defence sources said that the Army is looking into the matter and "appropriate action" would be taken.

Also Read: RK Pachauri Sexual Harassment Case: Delhi High Court Issues Notice To RK Pachauri, TERI

The woman officer's father had written a letter to Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar accusing the "higher officers" of giving the accused a "plum posting" in the name of taking action.

"I am the proud father of an Army Officer who marched down the Rajpath this year to showcase the 'woman power'. I am absolutely disappointed today and the reason is that my daughter was sexually harassed by her Commanding Officer and she complained to the higher ups.

"In the name of taking action, the higher officials gave him a plum posting and before leaving the unit, the commanding officer decided to tarnish the image of my child. Now my little child is trying her best to not let her head drop or shoulders drool," the letter by her father said.

He said that since now his daughter's complaint has finally come to the internal committee on sexual harassment, he is sure the case will get its well deserved hearing.

The complaint comes at a time when there is a renewed debate in the defence echelons about how to increase role of women officers.

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