'Attempt to tarnish my image': Haryana sports minister Sandeep Singh quits after sexual harassment case
"There's an attempt to tarnish my reputation. I hope that the false allegations levelled against me will be thoroughly investigated. I hand over the responsibility of the Sports Department to the CM until the investigation report is released," said Sandeep Singh.
Hours after being charged with sexual harassment, Haryana Sports Minister Sandeep Singh said that he handed over his resignation to Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Sunday, January 1, 2023, until the investigation report is announced. Additionally, Singh said the allegation against him has harmed his reputation.
"There's an attempt to tarnish my reputation. I hope that the false allegations levelled against me will be thoroughly investigated. I hand over the responsibility of the Sports Department to the CM until the investigation report is released," Singh said.
Following a complaint from a female coach accusing Singh of sexual harassment, the Chandigarh police have filed an FIR against the Haryana Sports Minister.
The former Olympian was charged under IPC Sections 354 (assault or use of criminal force against a woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 354 A (sexual harassment), 354 B (compelling her to be naked), 342 (wrongful confinement), and 506 (wrongful confinement) (criminal intimidation).
In her complaint, the junior athletics coach claimed that Haryana Sports Minister Sandeep Singh sexually harassed her during a meeting in his office. The case was filed at the Sector 26 police station, and Chandigarh police launched a probe. The coach asked for an independent probe, security, and a meeting with the Haryana chief minister at a press conference on Thursday. The coach filed a police complaint reiterating the allegations and requesting legal action against the minister.
As per her complaint, the coach athletic agreed to meet the minister Sandeep Singh at his residence-cum-camp office with some required documents she had. According to the woman, when she visited there, the minister molested her.
"He took me to a side cabin at his office...he placed his hand on my foot and placed my documents on the side table. He said he liked me the first time he saw me...He said if you keep me happy, I'll keep you happy," the woman claimed.
"I removed his hand away, and he tore my T-shirt. I was crying and raising the alarm for help, and despite all of his staff being present, no one helped me," she continued.
When asked about the allegation, the minister denied calling them baseless and asked for an independent probe. "I demand an independent probe. We'll also investigate it as my reputation has been harmed," the minister said.