Sandeep Singh hands over sports portfolio after sexual harassment FIR
The Chandigarh Police registered a sexual harassment and criminal intimidation case against Haryana Sports Minister Sandeep Singh on Sunday based on a complaint by a junior athletics coach. Earlier, Singh dismissed the allegations as groundless and demanded an independent investigation. The woman coach held a press conference at the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) party office and called for Singh's immediate sacking.
Singh gives up charge of ministry on moral grounds
Just hours after the First Information Report (FIR) was registered against the Haryana Sports Minister, Singh confirmed he handed in his portfolio to the state Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Sunday on "moral grounds." "I hand over the responsibility of the sports department to the chief minister until the report of the investigation comes out," the minister was quoted as saying by IndiaToday.
Details on the complaint against Singh
As per the complainant, Singh contacted the junior athletics coach on Instagram after seeing her at a gym for the first time. She claimed that the minister kept insisting that they should meet and added, "he messaged me on Instagram and said my national games certificate is pending and wanted to meet in this regard." She has also demanded security in her complaint.
Congress demands immediate probe against Singh
The woman also claimed that she finally decided to meet the minister at his residence-cum-camp office with a few other documents. She added that when she arrived there, Singh allegedly indulged in sexual misconduct. Meanwhile, former state Chief Minister and Senior Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda demanded an immediate probe into the matter.
Charges levied against Singh
As per media reports, a case has been registered against the Haryana BJP leader under Sections 342 (wrongful confinement), 354-A (sexual harassment), 354-B (assault or criminal force to woman with intent of disrobing), 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Who is Sandeep Singh?
36-year-old Sandeep Singh is the sitting Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA from Kurukshetra's Pehowa. Before his political stint with the BJP, Singh was a professional field hockey player and also captained the Indian national hockey team. His rise to fame came after he reestablished himself in the hockey team after miraculously recovering from a gunshot wound when he was 20 years old.
Details on Singh's 2007 gunshot incident
The new BJP MLA was shot accidentally in 2007 by a Railways Police Force assistant sub-inspector on board a train to Delhi, only a couple of days before the Hockey World Cup. This resulted in Singh getting paralyzed from waist down for nearly a year.
Sandeep Singh's dazzling sports career
Renowned as the "Flicker Singh" due to his penalty corner prowess, Singh recovered from the injury and managed to re-establish himself in the Indian national team. He was also the top scorer of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup during the 2008 and 2009 editions, with India bagging a gold in the latter. In 2018, a biopic titled 'Soorma' was released on Singh's life.