Antony orders probe against Naval officer in Karnataka

The Navy is embroiled in yet another sex scandal. Barely a month had passed after a Lieutenant’s wife made damning accusations of wife swapping in the Service, a Naval officer’s wife has accused her husband of forcing her to get sexually involved with his colleagues.

In the latest case, the wife of a Lieutenant commander (equivalent to the rank of an army major) has complained to Defence Minister A.K. Antony that her husband forced her to consume alcohol and get “sexually involved” with fellow officers.

Taking a serious note of the complaint, Mr. Antony on Tuesday ordered a probe against the officer posted at the Naval Ship Repair Yard (NSRY) at Karwar in Karnataka. The incident also saw the Minister using the platform of the Naval Commanders’ Conference here to ask the top brass of the Navy to “take sternest possible action” against officers tarnishing the image of the armed forces.

It is learnt that the woman made allegations that her husband threatened to upload her photographs on the internet to spoil her social image, if she complained to anyone. The woman has since left her husband and moved in with her parents.

Navy sources, however, said the woman had made not mentioned any of these allegations in a letter of April 26 to the Naval Headquarters. The sources said that she only levelled allegations of harassment and sought divorce. “These startling and damning allegations seem to have surfaced now in an attempt to sensationalise a case of marital discord,” they said.

Of late, the Navy witnessed similar cases. Last month, a Lieutenant's wife alleged that wife-swapping was prevalent in the Navy and claimed that she had been molested by her husband's superiors. Mr. Antony had immediately ordered the Navy to probe and submit a report. The enquiry into the matter is still underway. The Navy had then maintained that it was a case of marital discord.

Two naval officers were dismissed last month for sending lewd text messages to women and a Lieutenant commander for entering into an illicit relationship with the wife of a superior.

In the recent past, the Minister sacked a commodore (equivalent to brigadier rank in the Army) for having sexual relations with a Russian woman in Moscow. The officer was posted in Moscow from 2005 to 2007 as the Indian warship production superintendent to oversee aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov's refit when he developed the illicit relationship.

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