Four Army personnel have been booked for allegedly raping and molesting a 34-year-old speech and hearing-impaired woman employee of a military hospital at Khadki near Pune in 2015, police said Wednesday.
The case came to light when the woman contacted an Indore-based sign language expert through video call in June and narrated the incident.
Besides the police, Army too is conducting a 'court of inquiry' against the four personnel, who worked in the same hospital at the time.
The alleged offence took place between January and June 2015 at the Military Hospital - Kirkee in Pune's Khadki suburb. The woman has been working at the facility since 2014.
"According to the woman's complaint, she was on night duty when she was allegedly raped by one of the accused, who at the time was posted at the hospital," a senior police official said.
"When the survivor told another officer about the incident, he initially told her that he would reprimand the 'accused'. But, he too sought sexual favours from her by threatening her to make the message viral, and allegedly raped her. After some days, two more personnel approached the woman and allegedly took advantage of her," the police official said.
The woman, a class IV employee at the hospital, approached an NGO in Indore, Madhya Pradesh in June this year. The NGO subsequently approached the Indore police.
On Tuesday night, the Indore police informed about the matter to their Pune counterparts, who have registered a case against the four personnel under IPC sections 376 (rape) and 354 (molestation), he said.
Meanwhile, an official of the Army's Southern Command said they were conducting an enquiry into the matter.
"The court of inquiry was initiated well before the police complaint was registered," the official said.
Gyanendra Purohit, chief coordinator of the Police Help Centre for deaf and mute persons at Indore's Tukoganj police station, told PTI that the victim had contacted him in June through video call.
Purohit, who is a sign language expert, said he informed the authorities at the Military Hospital about the woman's complaint on July 5.
His wife Monica, who is also a sign language expert, sent an e-mail to Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and senior Army officers on August 6 about the alleged incident, he said.
She had also sent, through the e-mail, a video in which the victim narrated her ordeal through sign language, Purohit said.
"The victim cannot speak and hear since birth. Her husband died last year....We want justice for her," he added.
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