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Case lodged, Haryana minister sheds sports portfolio

Chandigarh Police set up SIT to probe complaint filed by woman coach | Bid to malign me, claims Sandeep

Case lodged, Haryana minister sheds sports portfolio


Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 1

Haryana minister Sandeep Singh, who has been booked in a sexual harassment case, on Sunday gave up his sports portfolio, saying he has taken the step on moral grounds.

FIR filed under Sec 354, 354A

The FIR against Sandeep Singh has been registered in Chandigarh under Sections 354 (assault or criminal force against woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 354A (sexual harassment), 354B (assault or criminal force with intent to disrobe), 342 (wrongful confinement) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC.

Retains printing & stationery ministry

Haryana minister Sandeep Singh, who also holds the charge of printing and stationery department, hasn’t resigned from the Cabinet. He continues to be in-charge of the stationery department.

Coach meets Vij

The complainant (woman coach) met Home Minister Vij in Ambala on Sunday. “I am hopeful of getting justice in the case,” she told the media after the meeting. Vij later said: “Justice will be done. Will meet the CM and Sandeep.”

The development came a day after the Chandigarh Police registered an FIR against the 36-year-old BJP leader and former captain of the Indian hockey team on charges of sexual harassment and wrongful confinement on a complaint of a woman junior athletics coach from Haryana. A former Olympian and first-time MLA from Pehowa, Sandeep, however, has dismissed the accusations as baseless. He said, “An atmosphere is being created to tarnish my image. A junior coach of the sports department has levelled allegations that are baseless. I want them to be properly investigated. The investigation is anyway going on.”

He added, “Till the report (of investigation) comes out, I hand over the charge of the sports department to the CM (Manohar Lal Khattar) on moral grounds. When the truth comes out, the CM may take further decision.” Meanwhile, the woman coach met Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij, who said justice would be done.A three-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by DSP Palak Goel has been constituted to probe the allegations against Sandeep Singh. The FIR against him was registered under Sections 354 (assault or criminal force against woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 354-A (sexual harassment), 354-B (assault or criminal force with intent to disrobe), 342 (wrongful confinement) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC in Chandigarh.

Police officials said the MLA would be asked to join the investigation. In her complaint, the coach had alleged that Sandeep Singh had first seen her at a gym and then contacted her on Instagram.

She has stated that Sandeep Singh would send her messages on Instagram and Snapchat. On July 1, 2022, Sandeep had allegedly made a Snapchat call and asked her to visit his residence-cum-camp office in Sector 7, Chandigarh, for some official work,

“Around 6.50 pm, he called me to his office and molested me. My T-shirt was torn. I managed to push him aside and ran out of the room as the door was unlocked,” she has alleged.

The woman coach met Home Minister Vij at his residence in Ambala and said she hoped to get justice. “I am hopeful of getting justice in the case,” she told reporters after the meeting.

Asked if other women officials in the sports department could have faced a similar plight, the woman said: “I am being told so but this fight is mine.... But I am sure that they will come forward once this man is put behind bars.”

Vij, meanwhile, said he would speak to Sandeep and the CM regarding the matter. Justice will be done in this case,” he told reporters.

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