Four army officers posted at the Armed Forces Medical College in Pune have been booked for abeting the suicide of a brigadier. An FIR filed by his son at the Government Railway Police Station in the city names Brigadier AK Shrivastava, Lt Colonel Kushagra Patel, Major Nilesh Patel, and a female major who had accused the brigadier of sexual harassment.
Brigadier Anant Naik, 57, jumped in front of a train at the Pune railway station on April 18. Naik, who was from Bhubaneswar in Odisha, headed the college’s administration department. He’d gone to the railway station in his army vehicle, the police said, telling his driver he had some work at the Movement Control Office, located inside the station.
“He was facing a sexual harassment complaint by a lady officer," said an army officer at the Southern Command headquarters in Pune who asked not to be named. “The summary of evidence had been completed and he was about to be court-martialled.”
Naik insisted that he had been falsely accused and reiterated his innocence in a pruported suicide note that the police later found in his house.
"His house was sealed after his death. We conducted the search in the presence of his son who lives in Bhubaneswar and found a suicide note which says he was being framed,” Inspector Suresh Singh Gaud of the Railway Police in Pune said. “We have handed over the suicide note to the army authorities."
He added, "We filed an FIR on the basis of information provided to us by the complainant Abhishek Naik. As per the complainant, Brigadier Naik committed suicide because of ill treatment. He had pulled up certain officers for meeting at odd hours of the night. After he scolded them a conspiracy was hatched against him by those junior officers. The complainant told us that a false sexual harassment complaint was filed against his father which led to an inquiry and rumors trashing his character. Because of the false accusations his father was mentally suffering and his mother became sick as well. All this was also mentioned in the suicide note we recovered from the brigadier’s house.”
Abhishek, the late brigadier’s son, told Newslaundry, "My father told me about the harassment meted out to him because of the false complaint. He told me rumors were spread by motivated officers that he was a man of immoral character that probably influenced the initial court of inquiry and led to subsequent proceedings.”
Newslaundry contacted the army’s public relations officer for comment on these allegations. The report will be updated if they respond.