A lieutenant colonel currently posted in Bathinda has raised the issue of alleged sexual misconduct and harassment of young NCC cadets at Kochi before the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), New Delhi. He was transferred from Kochi to Bathinda in August last year.
Lieutenant Colonel S Suresh Kumar has named Col Joseph Purakel, who was the Commanding Officer of 2 Kerala Batallion, for the alleged crime and had attached the complaint of the guardian of the cadet with his complaint, dated November 26 of 2013, to NCPCR.
He told NCPCR that he received a complaint by a "young mentally traumatised" NCC cadet on December 27, 2012, which informed him that Colonel Purakel was using "senior cadet/s to entice and solicit the young cadets, as well as indicated that many children had been sexually harassed/assaulted/exploited" by him.
Lt Col Suresh, while posted as administrative officer of NCC Group Thiruvananthapuram, as he claimed, had brought the issue in the notice of Colonel JK Achuthan (now retired), who was then officiating commander, NCC Group Headquarters.
Achuthan then had informed Brigadier G Subramaniam, then deputy director general, NCC directorate (Kerala and Lakshadweep) on January 18, 2013.
As per Lt Col Suresh's complaint, after Achuthan left, Colonel G Ramachandran joined as Commander, NCC Group Headquarters.
"However, subsequently, Col G Ramachandran, Col PG Krishna, director and then officiating deputy director general, NCC directorate (K and L), Maj Gen B Chakravarty, additional director general, NCC directorate, failed to act and ensured that the complaint was hushed up and buried, thus resulting in continued perpetration of these acts by this officer, unmindful of the concerns of safety and security of the young cadets and causing irreparable damage to the young minds, the safeguarding of which is the paramount responsibility of these authorities," said his complaint.
Col Purakel and Lt Col Suresh were then both posted out last year after the allegations surfaced at Kochi. Purakel was sent to Jammu and Kashmir and Suresh to Bathinda, 10 Corps. Later, Ramachandran was also posted out.
Lt Col Suresh claimed that he was posted out to faraway place in "north India, so that the undersigned would not be able to insist and pursue on the complaint and thus the case could be buried and cover-up ensured".
When contacted, chairperson, NCPCR, Kushal Singh, said, "We have got the complaint and have written to the state government of Kerala/director general, NCC, for a report on it."
Had also complained to Army chief
Lt Col Suresh Kumar had also complained to Army chief General Bikram Singh on August 24, 2013, but no action has been taken on his complaint.