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IAF Officer Alleges Sexual Assault, Use of Banned Two-Finger Test

The officer was allegedly assaulted by her colleague at Tamil Nadu's Coimbatore Air Force Administrative College.

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Gender
2 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>Crimes against women remain high despite protests.</p></div>
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The Indian Air Force (IAF) authorities have been accused of subjecting an officer at the Coimbatore Air Force Administrative College to the outlawed 'two-finger test', that had previously been used to examine women in cases of sexual violence, news agency PTI reported on Thursday, 30 September.

The officer has also accused the authorities of coercing her to withdraw the complaint filed against the flight lieutenant who had sexually assaulted her.

A First Information Report (FIR) had been filed by the police on 20 September on the basis of the officer's complaint, at the All Woman Police Station in Tamil Nadu's Coimbatore.

Amitesh Harmukh, a batchmate of the officer, had been arrested by the police on 25 September, and is presently in judicial custody.

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What Had Happened

The incident of sexual violence had reportedly taken place on 10 September. Harmukh had allegedly assaulted the officer after entering her quarters in an inebriated state during the wee hours of the day.

The air force authorities and the college commandant, who had been apprised of the crime, had failed to take action till 20 September, after which the complaint was lodged with the police, PTI reported.

The woman was also allegedly subjected to the unscientific 'two-finger test' to ascertain rape in the air force hospital, an examination that had been banned by the Supreme Court in 2013.

“Only later did I find out that the two-finger test is not supposed to be done for a rape exam. This action made me nauseous enough to relive the trauma of being raped,” the officer said in the FIR, The Hindustan Times reported.

'Utterly Disappointed': National Commission for Women on the Banned Finger Test Being Conducted

The National Commission for Women (NCW) on Thursday took suo motu cognizance of the matter.

"The National Commission for Women 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," a statement released by the NCW said.

NCW Chairperson Rekha Mishra has asked the air chief marshal and the Indian Air force to probe the matter and to impart knowledge of the current medical guidelines to the air force doctors.

(With inputs from PTI and The Hindustan Times.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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