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Haryana Sports Minister Sandeep Singh quits over sexual harassment charge 

Haryana Sports Minister Sandeep Singh (Photo: IANS)

Haryana Sports Minister Sandeep Singh resigned from his job today as the  Chandigarh police registered a sexual harassment and criminal intimidation case against him following a complaint by a junior athletics coach.

The minister, a former India hockey captain, said, “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 woman coach has alleged that the minister harassed her from February to November last year, by repeated messages on Instagram and Snapchat. He touched her inappropriately and also threatened her in messages. She claimed that she had to quit social media due to the constant harassment by Sandeep Singh.

The minister later kept insisting that they meet up, she said. “He messaged me on Instagram and said my national games certificate is pending and wanted to meet in this regard,” she alleged.

She has alleged in her complaint that on July 1, 2022, Sandeep had allegedly made a Snapchat call and asked her to visit his official residence in Sector 7, Chandigarh, for verification of documents.

The woman coach alleged that around 6.50 pm he called her inside his room and molested her. Her T-shirt was torn in the process, “but  I managed to push him aside and ran out of the room as the door was unlocked,” she has further alleged.

She had held a press conference at the office of Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and the opposition party had demanded that the ruling BJP government sack Sandeep Singh and set up a Special Investigation Team to investigate the matter.

Senior Congress leader and former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda had also demanded an impartial inquiry into the matter.

A case under sections 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 354-A (sexual harassment), 354-B (assault or criminal force to woman with intent of disrobe), 342 (wrongful confinement) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of IPC has been registered against Sandeep Singh at Chandigarh’s Sector 26 police station.

Singh’s biopic, ‘Soorma’, was released in 2018 in which famous Punjab singer and actor Diljit Dosanjh played his role. Singh, a former Olympian, had also been a judge on MTV Roadie