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Haryana Athletics Coach Accuses Sports Minister Of Sexual Misconduct, BJP Leader Refutes Charge

A junior athletics coach of Haryana on Thursday accused Sports Minister Sandeep Singh of sexual misconduct, a charge the BJP leader refuted as baseless and called for an independent probe.

Haryana Athletics Coach Accuses Sports Minister Of Sexual Misconduct,(Representational image)
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The woman alleged that Singh, a former hockey captain and sitting BJP MLA from Pehowa in Kurukshetra, had first seen her at a gym and then contacted her on Instagram.

She, however, claimed that she did not have a record of the messages as Singh sent them in “disappearing mode”. The coach levelled the allegations during a press conference held at the opposition Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) office here.

Speaking to reporters at his official residence in the evening, Singh referred to the accusations being made by the woman from the INLD office, and called it a conspiracy. He said he would lodge a complaint against her for tarnishing his image.

The coach claimed that the minister kept insisting that they meet up. “He messaged me on Instagram and said my national games certificate is pending and wanted to meet in this regard,” she added. "Unfortunately, my certificate has been misplaced by my federation and I have been taking it up with the authorities concerned."

The woman said she then agreed to meet him at his residence-cum-camp office here with some other documents she had, and alleged that when she went there, the minister indulged in sexual misconduct.

"It was my first visit to his (official) residence in sector 7 here,” she said, claiming that they initially sat in a meeting room, but the minister said there were CCTV cameras around and he was feeling uncomfortable. 

"He then took me to a side cabin of his residence... He placed my documents on the side table and placed his hand on my foot. He said when he saw me for the first time, he liked me... He said you keep me happy and I will keep you happy," the woman alleged.

"I removed his hand...he even tore my T-shirt and I was crying and I raised an alarm for help and though all his staff was there, no one helped me," she alleged.

Asked about the allegations, Singh dubbed them as baseless and called for an independent probe.

"I want an independent probe. We will also get it probed because my image has been tarnished," he said.

The minister further said that all details about the woman's entire life should be probed.

“Why did the woman not lodge a police complaint,” he asked.

Singh said his residence, which is his camp office, is equipped with CCTV cameras and all allegations could be probed.

The minister said he played in the Olympics at a young age, became hockey captain at a young age and later, a MLA and minister. "Some have not been able to digest this," he claimed.

Singh denied any sexual misconduct, and said he had only told her to give an application that she be allowed to train in Panchkula although her home district is Jhajjar.

"Yesterday itself, I had given direction to the director of sports that all players posted in their home district be allowed to train in another district if they want to," he said.

Meanwhile, the INLD demanded that the Manohar Lal Khattar government immediately sack Sandeep Singh. Senior party leader Abhay Singh Chautala claimed that the woman coach tried to meet with the state home minister and the DGP with a complaint.

"But it is unfortunate that she did not get justice anywhere," he alleged.

Chautala also demanded that the government should set up a Special Investigation Team to probe the matter.

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