Army, police probe rape of deaf-mute woman by four soldiers

They are: Ward Master Harun Rashid, Mohammed Muthazim, Ravindra Singh (both nursing assistants), and an ambulance assistant, Ahirwal.
Rape Victim

Pune, Oct 17 : Pune Police and the Army have launched a probe into allegations of rape levelled against four soldiers of the Army Medical Corps (AMC) by a deaf-mute 30-year-old woman employee of the Military Hospital here, an official said.

“We have lodged a First Information Report (FIR) for rape and molestation, based on the victim’s complaint. We shall first investigate the matter and then seek permission of the Centre for further action as they (accused) are Army employees,” Senior Police Inspector Rajendra Mohite told IANS.

According to the complaint, the woman had got a Class IV job in the handicapped category at the Military Hospital in July 2014.

A few months later, in early 2015, she was raped in the bathroom by a soldier when she was on night duty in the family ward.

She informed her immediate superior about the incident by a text message who promised to look into her complaint. Later, he also raped by threatening to make her message viral.

Subsequently two other soldiers joined them and the foursome sexually assaulted her regularly since 2015, said the widow, who also has a 12-year-old son.

The woman claimed that the jawans had also made video clips of their sex acts with her and blackmailed her into submission.

Finally, unable to bear the ongoing exploitation any longer, in July (2018), she went to Indore and sought help from a NGO, Anand Society Deaf Institute (ASDI), which specializes in helping speech-and-hearing handicapped persons.

The ASDI arranged the services of a sign language expert, Gyanendra Purohit, who recorded her complaint, accompanied her to Pune to lodge a complaint with the Military Hospital Commandant and later with the Indore DIG H.C. Mishra.

“In July, when we approached the concerned authorities in Pune, we did not get proper response. Then, we sent a video of the woman’s plight to Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Gen Vipin Rawat and Army Headquarters seeking justice for her,” Purohit told IANS.

Following a green signal from the Army authorities on August 16, the Pune Police on Tuesday lodged the victim’s FIR against the four soldiers.

They are: Ward Master Harun Rashid, Mohammed Muthazim, Ravindra Singh (both nursing assistants), and an ambulance assistant, Ahirwal.

All of them were attached to the Army Medical Corps and one is still posted at the Military Hospital here. Another has been posted in Jammu and Kashmir, one in Lucknow and another was recently transferred to a new location.

The woman said that all the four soldiers took “advantage of her handicap” threatened, abused and blackmailed her into submission for nearly four years, and her past complaints to several seniors were ignored.

An Army Court of Inquiry and the Pune Police have launched independent investigations into the matter

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