Traumatised by two-finger test after rape, says IAF officer

According to the first information report (FIR) filed by the Tamil Nadu Police on September 20, seen by HT on Wednesday, the woman officer said she was raped on campus at the Air Force Administrative College in Tamil Nadu’s Coimbatore district.
Experts said that the details in the complaint were shocking.
Experts said that the details in the complaint were shocking.
Updated on Sep 30, 2021 12:50 PM IST
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By, Chennai

A 28-year-old woman Indian Air Force (IAF) officer who accused her colleague of rape has levelled serious allegations against IAF of subjecting her to an illegal two-finger test to confirm rape, of adopting a hostile attitude towards her during the inquiry, and of tampering with the evidence.

According to the first information report (FIR) filed by the Tamil Nadu Police on September 20, seen by HT on Wednesday, the woman officer said she was raped on campus at the Air Force Administrative College in Tamil Nadu’s Coimbatore district. She also said that the college authorities told her that if she could endure the pain of an ankle injury (which she had suffered hours before the alleged crime), she could also deal with the pain of seeing her rapist on campus.

IAF declined to comment on the allegations. “We don’t want to offer a comment at this stage since the matter is sub-judice,” said a spokesperson not wishing to be named.

After the local police arrested the accused, a 29-year-old Flight Lieutenant, his lawyer and IAF independently argued at the additional Mahila court in Coimbatore on Monday that the civil police have no jurisdiction in the case.

They asked for the accused’s custody to be transferred to IAF for it to investigate and hold court-martial proceedings. The court, however, extended his judicial custody to September 30, and said it would decide on the jurisdiction of the case that day.

Experts said that the details in the complaint were shocking.

“The defence services should understand that they are not immune to sexual assaults being committed within the services, and they have to be prepared to handle them efficaciously,” said Vidya Reddy, who works on prevention of sexual assault and child sexual abuse.

According to the FIR, the survivor had injured her right leg while playing basketball during training on September 9. She took a painkiller, and that evening joined her colleagues at the officers’ mess bar, where the accused offered to pay for her second drink. The officer said she vomited and went to bed, and two friends (one male and the other female) took care of her and latched the room from outside before leaving.

As she was sleeping, the accused allegedly came in, tried to wake her up, and tried to kiss her. She kept pushing him away but was unsuccessful due to her ankle injury.

The next thing she remembered, the FIR said, was a female friend asking her if the man was in the room with her consent.

The next day, according to the FIR, she confronted the accused, who expressed regret at having invaded her privacy. But her female friend showed her semen stains on the bed.

On September 11, she was told to meet two faculty members, who gave her two options — either file a complaint, or give a written statement that everything was consensual. She was directed to go to the Air Force Hospital.

Her friends had accompanied her, and the doctors wanted to watch the confession video, they asked the victim about her sexual history and physically examined her private parts.

“Only later did I find out that the two-finger test is not supposed to be done for a rape exam. This action made me nauseous enough to relive the trauma of being raped,” the FIR read.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Divya Chandrababu is an award-winning political and human rights journalist based in Chennai, India. Divya is presently Assistant Editor of the Hindustan Times where she covers Tamil Nadu & Puducherry. She started her career as a broadcast journalist at NDTV-Hindu where she anchored and wrote prime time news bulletins. Later, she covered politics, development, mental health, child and disability rights for The Times of India. Divya has been a journalism fellow for several programs including the Asia Journalism Fellowship at Singapore and the KAS Media Asia- The Caravan for narrative journalism. Divya has a master's in politics and international studies from the University of Warwick, UK. As an independent journalist Divya has written for Indian and foreign publications on domestic and international affairs.

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Wednesday, January 19, 2022