Indian diplomat in Kabul accused of rape
BEmail: firstname.lastname@example.org RIGADIER S K Narayan, Indian Defence Attaché ac credited to Kabul has reportedly been deported for raping an Afghan female, who had gone to the Indian Embassy in pursuit of obtaining scholarship. Indians pressurized the Afghan government not to raise a hue and cry and instead had the rapist return quietly to India. According to media reports, the Indian Embassy in Kabul had advertised the award of scholarships for Afghan women. The victim of the rape was targeted by the Indian DA and raped.
This is not the first instance of rape at the hands Indian army personnel. In 2007 Major General A.K. Lal had to face court martial for raping his subordinate female officer in the Indian Army. An Army court of inquiry (COI) found Major General A K Lal, who was commanding a division on SinoIndian border in Ladakh, guilty of the charges levelled by Army Captain Neha Rawat in a case filed in September 2007, defence ministry sources said. He was second Maj Gen ranking officer this year to be tried in 2007. Earlier, a Major General in Jaipurbased Western Army Command was charged by CBI for allegedly possessing property disproportionate to his known sources of income.
In another case, which brought international ill repute to the Indian Army, COI has been ordered against the serving Brigadier for allegedly raping a New York-based doctor-turned-entrepreneur last year. Brigadier Manoj Tiwari, now serving at the Army War College, is accused of raping a woman doctor last year when he was posted as the Military Attaché to India’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations. Then a Colonel, the officer is accused of pursuing, lying about his marital status and then drugging her before raping her in his office. Colonel Tiwari returned home subsequently and was promoted as Brigadier in the Army before the complaint reached the Indian Army.
The rape victim, an American Physician Dr Anurita Kapur, a single divorcee, hails from a prestigious royal family from India. In her formal complaint, Dr Anurita states that she was approached by then Colonel Manoj Tiwari on India’s Republic Day event on January 26, 2012 at the Indian Consulate in New York. Colonel Tiwari began chasing her incessantly, making excuses to drop in on her, showering words of praise on her. The Indian Army officer, who had been planning his move for weeks, finally had his chance one day, when he tricked Anurita to visit his office. He served her drugged tea, when she was sedated, he raped her.
In another high profile rape case in the Indian Army, Lieutenant Colonel Dilip Singh Shekhawat has been arrested on charges of raping a woman officer after duping her. The Uttarakhand police nabbed Lieutenant Colonel Dilip Singh Shekhawat from his home town Jhunjhunu in Rajasthan, where he had gone on a two-month leave, and brought the accused to Dehradun. The woman officer also claimed that the officer was already married and had not revealed his marital status to her.
According to the police, a woman officer, who is also serving as Lieutenant Colonel in the Medical Corps, lodged a complaint with the Dehradun police in April 2012, charging Lieutenant Colonel Shekhawat of frequently raping her and cheating her by conducting a bogus marriage in a temple. The lady officer is presently serving at the Military Hospital in Dehradun, while Shekhwat is posted at NCC Uttarkashi. According to reports, Lieutenant Colonel Shekhawat had met the lady officer last year in Dehradun when he was in the city for Republic Day camp of the NCC.
According to renowned daily “Indian Express”, a South African woman has accused Indian peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo of raping her while on leave. South African police detained three Indian army officers working with United Nations peacekeeping forces in the Central African nation on March 12, 2008. The men were released and India’s Defence Minister AK Antony has asked for a report on the incident, the news report said. The woman said the men raped her while they were on holiday in South Africa, the report said. A South African delegation brought the matter to the attention of Indian authorities in New Delhi. There are currently about 17, 600 peacekeepers in the DRC—almost a quarter of them Indian—overseeing the transition from a devastating civil war in which millions died. Indian peacekeepers in the DRC have also been accused of trading in gold and guns with Congolese militia they were meant to be disarming. Indian military officers deployed in Indian Occupied Kashmir or other areas of conflict have frequently been accused of gang rape of women but they escape incarceration, hiding behind the draconian and black law, the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).
Take the 2015 case of Karbi Anglong in Assam. On 6th April, an Indian Army regiment entered a village in Karbi Anglong, and molested and injured many women. Around eight jawans carried off a 15 year old girl into the forest; when her mother and another woman rushed to rescue her, the jawans raped all three. An ICDS worker who tried to intervene was also injured, and a three-yearold baby was hit with the butt of a rifle. Although protests have been ongoing in Karbi Anglong ever since the rape, none of the jawans have been arrested – the police say they cannot make an arrest because of the AFSPA. Instead, the victims are being pressurized and terrorized into withdrawing their complaints.
Moral turpitude has plagued the whole of India and the Indian army is no exception. Readers may recall the 2012 case of the female student who was gang-raped on a bus and later died at a Singapore hospital had raised public outcry. Earlier, an old nun had been gang raped. Indian leadership should take cognizance of the growing instances of rape rather than brushing evil under the carpet. —The writer is retired PAF Group Captain and a TV talk show host.