New Delhi: The Chandigarh police have booked Haryana sports minister Sandeep Singh on charges of sexual harassment and wrongful confinement on the complaint of a woman coach, police said on Sunday, January 1.
The minister on Sunday resigned from his post, NDTV reported. He has dismissed the allegations as an attempt to ‘spoil his image’, it added.
“There is an attempt to spoil my image. I hope there will be a thorough investigation into the false allegations levelled against me. I hand over the responsibility of the sports department to the chief minister until the report of the investigation comes out,” the news outlet reported him as saying.
A first information report against the Bharatiya Janata Party leader, who is also a former Indian hockey team captain, was filed on Saturday, December 31, 2022, the police told news agency PTI.
He is a sitting MLA from Pehowa in Kurukshetra.
The case was registered under Sections 354 (assault with intent to outrage a woman’s modesty), 354A (sexual harassment), 354B (assault with the intention of disrobing), 342 (punishment for wrongful confinement), and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.
A police spokesperson told the news agency that the case was registered at police station sector 26, Chandigarh, and is being investigated.
A junior athletics coach from the state had on December 29, 2022, come up with allegations of sexual harassment against the minister and filed a police complaint a day later.
Singh had first seen her at a gym and insisted her to meet him, saying her national games certificate was pending, the report said, citing the woman.
“Unfortunately, my certificate has been misplaced by my federation and I have been taking it up with the authorities concerned,” she told NDTV.
She alleged that when she went to meet him at his residence-cum-camp office in Chandigarh with some other documents, the minister indulged in sexual misconduct.
The minister, however, has dismissed the charge as baseless and has called for an independent probe.
According to NDTV, the woman held a press conference at the office of the Indian National Lok Dal, which has demanded that the Manohar Lal Khattar government immediately sack Singh. The opposition party has also demanded for a special investigation team to probe the matter.
The woman has also demanded security, the report added.
In 2018, a biopic, titled Soorma, was released on the life of Singh. Punjabi singer and actor Diljit Dosanjh played his role in the movie. He was also a judge on MTV Roadies.
(With inputs from PTI)