Flying Officer Anjali Gupta committed suicide last Sunday in Bhopal at her lover’s home. While the immediate cause is speculated to be a failed relationship, her tragedy began way back in February 2005.
Anjali, a non-flying Indian Air Force officer commissioned as a Flying officer, had lodged a police complaint alleging sexual harassment against three senior officers. The case came to light only when Gupta was detained at an Air Force guest house in Bangalore pending the constitution of a general court martial (GCM). At that time, two TV reporters, on a tip-off, tried to interview her and were detained by IAF security.
Because of the undue attention that she was getting, the IAF decided to throw open the GCM to the media. Strangely, the GCM probed a set of charges against her and not the officers she had complained about.
At the GCM, Gupta was bold and even cheerful. She accused the IAF public relations officer of dictating media reports that suggested no wrongdoing on the part of the Air Force.
Finally, the GCM pronounced her guilty on five counts, including indiscipline, insubordination, financial irregularity, and conduct unbecoming of officer. She was dismissed. The next day, the IAF constituted a court of Inquiry that ruled that no action need be taken against the officers she’d complained against. Her police complaint died a natural death.
Gupta told the media that she would write a book and there were even reports of film producers wanting to make a movie based on her. Nothing fructified and she started working at a private firm in Bangalore.
On Sunday, Gupta, now 35, allegedly hanged herself at the home of a former IAF colleague who was married.