To protest against the detention of the estranged wife of a Naval officer who had alleged wife-swapping in the Indian Navy, students of Jawaharlal Nehru University protested outside the Vasant Vihar police station here on Saturday demanding her immediate release.

Speaking to The Hindu , All-India Students’ Association president Akbar Chaudhary said the woman was arrested at Jia Sarai on Saturday afternoon and was “beaten up”. He alleged that “she had swollen hands and legs”.

“As the estranged wife of the Naval officer exposed the Indian Navy sex scandal, the Defence Ministry is pressuring the police. As a result, trumped up charges of forgery have been registered against the victim who enrolled as student at JNU this year. We are protesting because after the December 16 gang rape of the physiotherapy student, women are no longer safe in the city.”

According to AISA national joint secretary Sucheta De, the estranged wife of the Naval officer was “tortured during her detention”.

“We met her briefly and her hands and legs were swollen. This proves that she has been tortured. It takes a lot for a woman to come out boldly against the commodification of women in an unquestionable institution. The State needs to stand up for her so that she has confidence in the State machinery. But the entire political machinery is up in arms against her for the pride of Indian Navy. Pride lies in commodification of Indian women or speaking up against it?”

Noting that the protest was against the detention of a woman who was being victimised for exposing wife swapping in the Indian Navy, vice president of JNU unit of AISA Om Prasad said: “What she has exposed is that Navy officers are forcing women to sleep with senior officers. She has been harassed for exposing this scandal.” AISA member Shibani Nag said the estranged wife of the Naval officer was detained because she had exposed that senior officers were asking for sexual favours from her. “Ever since she exposed this scandal, she has been threatened by these officers of Indian Navy. I met her today; she was limping. Only after that did she complain that she had been beaten up. The police is trying to shield the Naval officers.”