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Coimbatore IAF office rape case: Accused facing sexual assault charge handed over to Air Force

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Coimbatore, Sept 30: An Indian Air Force office arrested on charges of sexual assault of a woman colleague was handed over to the IAF for court martial over the local court direction on Thursday.

The Additional Mahila Court directed the police to hand over the case to the IAF, which had filed a petition seeking his transfer citing jurisdiction.

Coimbatore IAF office rape case: Accused facing sexual assault charge handed over to Air Force

Flight Lieutenant, Amitesh Harmukh was arrested by the police on Sunday for sexually assaulting a woman officer on September 10, in the college premises. The victim had allegedly lodged a complaint at the Additional Mahila Court after the IAF authorities failed to take action against the accused.

The IAF authorities approached the court seeking his custody for further inquiry and court martial, stating the local police had no jurisdiction to investigate and arrest him, with the issue being a defense matter.

IAF officer arrested on rape charges in Coimbatore, sent to judicial custodyIAF officer arrested on rape charges in Coimbatore, sent to judicial custody

Even as Harmukh was in judicial custody, IAF authorities moved the court seeking his custody for further inquiry and court martial, saying the local police had no jurisdiction to investigate and arrest him, with the issue being a defense matter. When the matter came up today, after hearing the arguments from both sides, judge Thilageshwari gave the direction to the city police to hand over the case to IAF for court martial of the accused officer. The police who had brought Harmukh, handed him over to IAF officials, who took him under their custody.

The victim of sexual assault at the Indian Air Force in Coimbatore claimed that the medical officers at the academy carried out "two finger test", an unscientific practice to ascertain sexual abuse, on her.

She alleged that the officers at the academy pressurised her to withdraw the complaint, a report on News18, which has the access to the FIR, claimed. The victim said that she was subject to gaslighting by a few officers.

"I was feeling sick, my trauma intensified by the authorities' attitude and knowing the fact that my rapist was going to walk free. I had a panic attack around 02 30 hrs and had to be taken to the AFH. I was administered pills as I could not sleep and was having great trouble breathing. I was given a day's rest..." the website quotes her as saying in the FIR.

The 29-year-old woman further stated that the authorities made changes to the letters that she had submitted detailing her trauma and tried to tamper with the evidence, which forced her to file a complaint with the Coimbatore cops.

Coimbatore's IAF rape case: Victim subjected to 'two finger test' at academy, pressurised to withdraw complainCoimbatore's IAF rape case: Victim subjected to 'two finger test' at academy, pressurised to withdraw complain

"On the morning of September 17, I finally gained the strength to file a complaint again. Losing all hopes on the authorities by September 19 night, I decided to file an online FIR," she said.

The 29-year-old suffered an injury while playing a sport in the college facilities after which she took medication before going to sleep. However, when the complainant woke up she realised that she was sexually assaulted.

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