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Antony orders inquiry into woman army officer's allegations

July 16, 2008 19:50 IST

Expressing concern over allegations by a woman army officer of physical and mental torture by her seniors, Defence Minister A K Antony on Wednesday ordered an inquiry into the incident.

The minister intervened after the army described the allegations of Captain Poonam Kaur of the Kalka-based Army Service Corps battalion as 'baseless'.

But nevertheless, army authorities instituted an inquiry as stipulated under the Army Act.

Meanwhile, Army Service Corps Major General Kamal Mohey told reporters in Chandigarh that an inquiry has been ordered and the investigations will start.

"We want to assure that we will reach to the bottom of the truth," he said.

"While assuring a free and fair inquiry where interests of the complainant and the defendant will be protected, we request the media not to pre-judge things and refrain from conducting a media trial," he said.

Kaur alleged she had been 'physically and mentally tortured' by three of her superiors and said she filed a written complaint on July 13.

Her allegations come at a time when the security forces have been rocked by a series of complaints of physical harassment by women officers.

A senior officer of the rank of major general is facing court martial proceedings for sexual harassment of a young woman captain. The case of A K Lal, suspended divisional commander of the Leh-based third Army Division, has opened in a Western Command location.

The officer, if found guilty, faces imprisonment, and being expelled from the army.

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