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Another sex scandal hits navy

New Delhi, May 14: Defence minister A.K. Antony today ordered a probe after the wife of a navy officer met him to complain that she was being forced into illicit relations with her husband’s colleagues.

Navy sources confirmed receiving a letter from the woman but said she had complained of marital discord and demand for dowry but not about being forced into illicit sex. The navy formed a board of inquiry after receiving her complaint on April 26.

This is the second time in two months that allegations of wife-swapping and licentious behaviour have hit the officer cadre of the navy.

The officer concerned is a lieutenant commander based at Project Seabird in Karwar where the navy is building the shelter for aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov in a large shore base.

The latest “sex scandal” to hit the navy comes on a day senior commanders of the force met for an annual brainstorming session that was inaugurated by the defence minister.

The woman told PTI: “The defence minister was very helpful and has told us that he has ordered a departmental inquiry into the charges made by me and my parents against my husband.”

She alleged that her husband, a lieutenant commander (equivalent to a major in the army) posted at the naval ship repair yard (NSRY) in Karwar, “forced me to get sexually involved with his colleagues and consume alcohol”.

The woman, who says she has shifted to her maternal home after this episode, has accused her husband of physical and mental torture. An MBA, she got married in February last year to the officer. The woman alleged that her husband had threatened her that if she disclosed his deeds to anyone, “he would put up my nude pictures on the Internet to spoil my image socially”.

The navy is already battling a spate of complaints on sexual misconduct by its officers. Last month, the wife of another lieutenant commander, a marine commando in Kochi, complained to the defence minister and police that she was forced to participate in a wife-swapping racket. Antony ordered an investigation into those complaints too.

In Mumbai, the Western Naval Command last month dismissed an officer for sending lewd text messages to several women using multiple SIM cards and mobile numbers and for having an illicit affair with the wife of a brother officer.

Last year, a commodore associated with the Gorshkov project, too, was sacked after photographs of him exchanging intimacies with a Russian woman were mailed to the defence ministry and the naval headquarters. The Gorshkov project has been delayed by nearly five years. The Russians have now promised to deliver the aircraft carrier by the end of the current year.