Woman officer quits Indian Navy alleging harassment

NEW DELHI – An Indian woman officer has quit the Navy after alleging her superior physically, verbally and mentally harassed her at the Shipwright School at the Eastern Naval Command at Visakhapatnam.

To top it all, the woman officer had to re-pay the costs the government had incurred on her during her training and different courses. But the court martial found the accused, a commander (equivalent to Lt-Colonel in the Army), guilty of only one of the five charges leveled against him. He has been punished with 18 months loss of seniority.

The Navy had ordered a one-man inquiry after the woman Sub Lieutenant, who was undergoing a naval architecture course at the Shipwright School, first levelled the charges against her officer-in-charge. Incidentally, another woman officer and a civilian data entry operator had supported the victim in levelling charges against the commander.

The Indian Navy has been hit by some sexual misconduct and harassment cases over the last couple of years. Two officers are facing allegations levelled by their wives. The force has also sacked a Commodore, a Captain and two commanders for having extra-marital affairs.

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Aaj Kal