Amid growing clamour for the resignation of Haryana Minister Sandeep Singh, who gave up the Sports and Youth Affairs portfolio over sexual harassment allegations, Chief Minister Manohar Lal on Tuesday said the woman athlete had made “absurd” allegations. He added that mere allegations did not make someone guilty.
Mr. Lal was speaking to media persons on the sidelines of an event in Rajasthan’s Sirohi.
Replying to a question, the Chief Minister said the Minister, former captain of India hockey team, had already relinquished the portfolio for an impartial probe into the matter. He added that both the Chandigarh and the Haryana police were investigating the matter and action would be initiated based on their reports.
Letter to IOA
All-India Democratic Women’s Association national vice-president and the first woman Bhim Awardee, Jagmati Sangwan, has written an open letter to Indian Olympic Association president P.T. Usha seeking her intervention in the case “by pressing for the immediate dismissal of the accused from all government positions to enable a fair inquiry in the matter and to ensure that the victim gets justice”.
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Dr. Sangwan said that this would send a very important message signaling that the IOA is committed to ensuring the mental, physical and social well-being of sportswomen in India. She, in her letter, said a three-member committee was set up by the Haryana police at the behest of the accused Minister to look into the matter which appeared to be a “classic instance of blaming the victim”.
Several women, social organisations and a “khap panchayat” have held demonstrations in different parts of the State over the past few days seeking the resignation of the Minister. The Congress and the Indian National Lok Dal too have demanded that the Minister be immediately sacked.