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After rape, IAF officer 'pressurised' to withdraw case in Coimbatore

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A ​female Air Force officer in Coimbatore, who had accused a 29-year-old colleague of sexual assault, has said that she had to “relive the trauma” as IAF doctors subjected her to the banned and intrusive “two-finger test” and other officers pressurised her to withdraw the complaint.

​The two-finger test on rape or sexual assault victims has been called out in the past for violating the survivor’s right to privacy and is also believed to be unscientific.

​The assault took place about two weeks ago inside her room ​at the Air Force Administrative College in Coimbatore’s Redfields, where she had come for training.

​The woman officer said she was forced to go to the civil police because she was not satisfied with the action taken by the IAF after her original complaint, NDTV reported.

In her complaint to the Coimbatore police, she said she was forced to withdraw the complaint twice, and another time asked to sign a letter with changes made, which she refused.

“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 0230 hrs and had to be taken to the AFH (Air Force Hospital). I was administered pills as I could not sleep and was having great trouble breathing,” the News18 reported quoting her complaint.

Also read: Woman’s body thrown off moving car in Coimbatore, caught on camera

She also alleged that she was questioned about her “sexual history” and accused her senior officers, including those in charge of administering medical treatment, of pressurising her to withdraw her complaint.

The accused Flight Lieutenant, who had come from Chattisgarh for training, was arrested in Coimbatore on Sunday and has been sent to two days custody.

His lawyer had initially objected, saying that “the Coimbatore Police don’t have powers to arrest an Air Force officer” and that “only military procedure ought to be followed”, the NDTV reported.

The Air Force has said that it was cooperating with the police investigation and also conducting an internal inquiry. “We cannot comment any further as the matter is subjudice.”

The Force had recently moved a court in Coimbatore to allow a court-martial against the flight lieutenant in view of the fact that he was a serving officer.

However, Coimbatore Commissioner of Police Deepak M Damor told NDTV that there is no provision in the law to transfer an FIR to the Air Force and insisted the city police will complete the investigation.

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