Wing Commander Ms Pooja Thakur sues Indian Air Force

Wing Commander Ms Pooja Thakur leading guard of honour to President Obama
Wing Commander Ms Pooja Thakur leading guard of honour to President Obama

NEW DELHI: Wing Commander Pooja Thakur , who led the Guard of Honour during US President Barack Obama’s visit here last year, has moved the Armed Forces Tribunal here after being denied a permanent commission by IAF.

In her petition, the officer has claimed that IAF’s decision to deny her permanent commission is “biased, discriminatory, arbitrary and unreasonable”.

The tribunal has admitted the matter and has sought IAF’s response, Thakur’s lawyer Sudhanshu Pandey said.

Thakur led an Inter-Service Guard of Honour last year when President Obama visited India in January.

Obama had said later said the sight of “incredible” Indian women in the armed forces was one of his “favourite things” in India.

Thakur had then said, “It feels good that we have been able to achieve our aim of giving him a befitting Guard of Honour. I am glad that he has appreciated.”

The defence forces, in a first, had chosen women officers to lead their marching contingents during the Republic Day parade last year.

Thakur, who joined IAF in 2000, belongs to the administrative branch and is currently posted at ‘Disha’, the publicity cell under the Directorate of Personnel Officers at the Air Force Headquarters.

As part of her duty, she was involved with the initiation and development of the IAF mobile game “Guardians of the Sky” which was visualised as a new and innovative step to reach the mobile-friendly tech-savvy students.