Antony orders inquiry into woman officer's allegations of harassment

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New Delhi, Jul 16 (UNI) Concerned over the allegations of physical and mental torture by a woman Army officer by seniors, Defence Minister A K Antony today ordered a probe into the incident.

The Minister ordered the inquiry despite the Army terming the Army Services Corps Capt Poonam Kaur alligations ''baseless'', indicating that the Defence Ministry was serious about a series of reports on women officers being harassed by the senior male officers.

Meanwhile, Army Service Corps Major General Kamal Mohey told reporters in Chandigarh that an inquiry has been ordered and the investigations will start.

''When a complaint is made, it becomes our duty to protect the interests of the complainant as well as the defendants, hence an inquiry has been started into the allegations levelled by Capt Poonam Singh of Kalka based ASC battalion,'' Maj Gen Mohey at the Western Command headquarters today said.

''Whatever Capt Poonam has said, we honour her integrity and courage, but we also have a responsibility towards the three officers against whom the complaint has been made,'' Maj Gen Mohey said addressing a media conference here.

Another woman officer of the ASC unit, Capt Sandeepika Khara, who was also present along with the Maj Gen, stated that the officers of her unit were 'good' and the working enviornment was 'congenial'.

Capt Poonam has leveled the allegations against the Commanding Officer of her unit, a Major and another officer.

A senior officer of the rank of Major General is facing court martial proceedings for sexual harassment of a young woman captain.

The case of A K Lal, suspended divisional commander of the Leh-based 3rd Division, has begun in Western Command.

The officer, if found guilty faces imprisonment, and being cashiered from the Army.


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