A female coach who accused the former India hockey captain of sexual harassment met with the home minister on Sunday and demanded an investigation into the matter, news agency ANI reported.
The coach told ANI after meeting Anil Vij that: “He harassed me physically & mentally. At first, I tried to avoid him but he continued to harass me. I’m hopeful that action will be taken.”
Haryana | Female coach who filed a sexual harassment complaint against state Minister Sandeep Singh met Home Minister, in Ambala
“He harassed me physically & mentally. At first, I tried to avoid him but he continued to harass me. I’m hopeful that action will be taken,” she says pic.twitter.com/mE8bdDliX2
— ANI (@ANI) January 1, 2023
Sandeep Singh stated on Sunday that he has given Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar charge of the Sports department till the investigation’s report is released, hours after charges of sexual harassment were made against him.
Singh, a former captain of the Indian hockey team, has also been charged with wrongful confinement and criminal intimidation. The Haryana director general of police (DGP) formed a committee on Saturday after the minister filed a complaint against the coach, claiming she harmed his reputation.
It was unclear immediately whether he had abandoned his portfolio or resigned from the ministry.
The minister, who had previously called for an independent investigation into the situation, dismissed the coach’s charges as baseless.
Chandigarh Police Booked The State Minister Following The Complaint:
An order issued by DGP P K Agrawal on Saturday stated: “Complaint has been received from Sandeep Singh, Minister of State, Sports and Youth Affairs, Haryana…”.
The “allegations in this regard are also spreading on social and electronic media”, the order noted, adding that “the committee shall conduct an in-depth inquiry into the subject matter immediately and submit its findings to this (DGP’s) office at the earliest”.
The Chandigarh Police have arrested Sandeep Singh and registered “a case FIR dated 31.12.2022 under sections 354, 354A, 354B, 342, 506 of the Indian Penal Code” at the Sector-26 police station here, according to a police spokesperson, and the matter is being investigated.
The coach made sexual harassment charges against Singh on Thursday. A day later, she filed a police report.
Charges Against Sandeep Singh:
Singh, a former Olympian, has been charged under sections 354 (assault or use of criminal force against a woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 354A (sexual harassment), 354B (compelling her to be naked), 342 (wrongful confinement), and 506 of the penal code (criminal intimidation).
Allegations Against Former India Hockey Captain:
Chandigarh police had previously stated that an investigation into the claims against the minister would be conducted after receiving a complaint from the woman coach. “I have given a complaint to SSP madam (Senior Superintendent of Police) here. I am hopeful that I will get justice and the Chandigarh Police will investigate my complaint,” the woman was quoted as saying by the news agency PTI on Friday.
She alleged that Singh messaged her on Instagram after seeing her at a gym and insisted on meeting.
“He messaged me on Instagram and stated my National Games certificate is pending and wanted to meet in this regard.
“Unfortunately, my certificate was misplaced by my federation, and I have been pursuing it with the appropriate authorities,” the woman explained.
The woman agreed to see Singh at his residence-cum-camp office here with some other documents she had, according to the complaint. She stated that when she went there, the minister molested her.
“He took me to a side cabin in his residence, set my documents on the table, and placed his hand on my foot. He then stated that when he first met me, he liked me… He said that if you keep me happy, I will keep you happy,” the woman claimed, PTI reported.
“I removed his hand and he even tore my T-shirt. I was crying and I raised an alarm and though all his staff was there, no one helped me,” she alleged, the PTI report said.
Former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda had earlier demanded an impartial investigation into the allegations, while the Indian National Lok Dal urged the government of Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar to immediately fire Singh and form a Special Investigation Team to look into the matter.
(With Inputs From Agencies)