Rubina Khan Shapoo, NDTV.COM
Saturday, June 17, 2006 (Bhopal):
The Army has denied that its Vice Chief had said women were not welcome in the force.
The clarification comes a day after news broke of the suicide of young woman officer Lt Sushmita Chakaraborty in Kashmir.
Just ten months after joining the Army, 25-year-old Sushmita killed herself in Udhampur, where she had been posted in the supplies corp.
She was cremated in her hometown, Bhopal on Saturday.
The Army says that Sushmita was undergoing treatment for depression and had attempted killing herself twice before.
However, her family blames the Army for her death, saying they did not give her a posting of her choice and her unhappiness led to depression and suicide.
"Sushmita had never made a formal request or application to leave the Army and her parents are just saying this after she killed herself," Maj Gen RS Sujlana, Additional Director of Military Intelligence, said.
"They had tested her for mental fitness before giving her an appointment. They are the ones who are saying it is suicide, not us. It's a one sided enquiry," SK Roy Choudhary, a family friend, said.
People close to Sushmita say she was a tough woman capable of battling many odds, and something terrible must have happened for her to take such a step.
Her uncle Sanjay Choudhary can't believe that it is a case of suicide.
The Army has recently had a rough time with a series of incidents where women officers alleged molestation and harassment.
Sushmita's unnatural death only reflects that perhaps all is not well within the Army.