‘Serial molester’ Colonel in ‘military custody’, probe on

The colonel was transferred from his earlier field posting, where there were complaints that he often came to office drunk.

Written by Vivek Sinha | New Delhi | Published: August 26, 2014 1:24:30 am

In yet another incident of sexual misconduct by officers in the Army, the commanding officer (CO) of a unit based in Sri Ganganagar in Rajasthan is facing a probe for allegedly molesting the wife of a fellow officer and sexually harassing at least four other women.

According to Army sources, the latest incident took place recently at the unit’s mess, where the CO, a colonel, was seated with other officers and their wives. The colonel (name withheld), who was inebriated, groped a woman sitting there with her husband.

A commotion ensued when the woman snapped at the CO and started crying. The husband promptly informed his senior officers and gave a complaint in writing, along with his wife’s statements.

Soon after, four more women, also wives of Army officers, too gave written complaints against the CO, alleging he had harassed them sexually in the recent past. A probe has been ordered under Section 125 of the Army Act, which authorises the competent Army officers to place the accused under “military custody” pending the Court of Inquiry.

Confirming the development, an official in the Defence Ministry said, “The probe is likely to be completed soon. Such incidents are never tolerated in the Army.”

The colonel was recently transferred to the unit in Sri Ganganagar from his earlier field posting, where there were complaints that he would often come to office drunk and would be absent from duty for days together. The incident comes close on the heels of a Brigadier posted at the Line of Control in Poonch sector being removed after allegedly sodomising his assistant (Sahayak), also known as “battle buddy”.

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