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HindustanTimes Sun,26 Oct 2014

Major’s wife refuses to take part in AWWA fashion show rehearsal

Bhartesh Singh Thakur, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, August 06, 2014
First Published: 12:47 IST(6/8/2014) | Last Updated: 12:59 IST(6/8/2014)

An army major’s wife based at the Faridkot military station has filed a complaint against the commander of 16 Artillery Brigade over being forced to take part in a rehearsal for a fashion show.

Wives of senior army officers were among the invitees for the event, which was being organised by the Army Wives Welfare Association (AWWA).

Vidhya A Karajagi, wife of Major Annappa C Karajagi, alleged that on July 8, Brig Sanjiv Yadav, commander, 16 Artillery Brigade, insulted and threatened her. The complaint, dated July 28, has been filed before the army commander, South-Western Command, Lt Gen AK Sahni.

During the meeting with Vidhya and her husband, Col Rajeev Dhawan, commanding officer, 33 Field Regiment, and his wife were also present.

Vidhya told Brigadier Yadav that the fashion show was not a family welfare-oriented programme and her husband told her not to go there as she had to leave the kids unattended for two-three hours.

Vidhya, in her complaint, alleged that during her interaction, Brigadier Yadav “crossed the line” when he said, “Anybody who is under my command, he questions the organisation, the very foundation of the organisation is not acceptable, got it Annappa? You must understand what your commander is thinking. That’s it. I leave it to both of you. Conduct youself.”

Vidhya claimed that Brigadier Yadav further said, “Till the time you don’t cross the boundaries, it’s fine with me... If the boundary’s four lines are crossed, I will not accept it. Got the issue?” She claimed that he also said, “Fine, Mrs Annappa I had to speak today because if I don’t nip it in the bud, this malaise will continue...”

Vidhya stated that she had never questioned the army or the Army Wives Welfare Association (AWWA) and only agreed with her husband that the fashion show rehearsal was not family welfare-oriented, adding that she told the same to Brigadier Yadav and questioned the manner in which the latter called her for interaction over AWWA, which is an NGO (non-governmental organisation).

According to Vidhya, she is the wife of an army officer and an independent citizen, not governed by the Army Act.

Sources said Major Gen YK Jain of the 16 Infantry Division on Tuesday addressed officers and their wives at the Faridkot military station over the issue.

He also met Major Annappa and Vidhya individually to resolve the issue. Vidhya reportedly demanded an inquiry into the episode.

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