IAF officer arrested for sexually assaulting fellow officer


Team Udayavani, Sep 27, 2021, 2:10 PM IST

New Delhi: An Indian Air Force officer was arrested on Saturday for allegedly sexually assaulting a colleague at a training college in Coimbatore.

On August 15, about 30 Flight Lieutenant cadre officers of the Air Force from across the country had arrived at the campus of Air Force Administrative College (AFAC) in Coimbatore for induction training. The accused Amitesh Harmukh (28) and the 27-year-old female officer were among them.

According to the complaint by the woman officer, the alleged incident happened on the night of September 10 when she was asleep in her room after taking painkillers for an ankle sprain. She realized the assault only after waking up later. She had also reported the incident to the seniors of the Air Force. However, no stringent action was taken against the suspect.

Unhappy with the Air Force’s handling of the matter, the woman lodged a formal complaint with the Coimbatore Police. Based on the investigation by an all-women police team from the Gandhipuram Police Station the accused was arrested and was booked under Section 376 (punishment for rape) of the IPC.

Meanwhile, the arrested officer has been remanded to the Udumalapet Jail after being produced before the district judge.

However, issues related to jurisdiction have cropped up in the case. A lawyer representing the accused pointed out that only the defense court has jurisdiction in matters related to the armed forces personnel. The issue of jurisdiction is being discussed, the police said.

Defense sources have cited procedural matters for the delay in investigation by the Air Force. A panel has been formed to investigate the matter. and departmental action will be taken against the suspect based on its findings, sources added.

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