Brit reiterates charge against Sardar


The Indian skipper refuses to comment, saying his focus is on Rio

More than four months after Sardar Singh was accused of assaulting a woman, the British national has reiterated her charge and sought action against the Indian hockey captain, this time in Delhi.

The 21-year-old, supported by the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW), has alleged that she was “assaulted, threatened and raped” by Sardar at a five-star hotel in the city in February 2014 but did not file a report at that time as Sardar had convinced her that she would not get justice in India because of his police and political connections.

The Indian skipper is currently training in Bengaluru and will soon be joining the squad in Valencia for a six-nation tournament ahead of the Rio Olympics. Insisting that he was fully focused on his game and the Olympics, Sardar refused to comment on the issue, saying that he would not allow his concentration to waver.

“The team is doing so well that it only spurs me to improve my own game even further and match up to those guys. The team, hockey training and the Olympics are the only things that matter to me,” he told The Hindu.

The Delhi Police, meanwhile, is in the process of probing the allegations and taking legal opinion from both in-house and other experts before filing a case, not wanting to go wrong with any aspect of the case.

Sources say the Indian captain, rested for the first time in several years, has not followed any news other than that of the team’s fortunes in the ongoing Champions Trophy in London, preferring to work on his strength and conditioning and developing tactical nous. Interestingly, though Sardar went through a lean phase last year, his form in the 2016 Hockey India League — which coincided with the previous accusation — was impressive, indicating that the issue had not affected his game.

The woman, who has been in the city for a week, has also accused Hockey India and the Sports Authority of India of not acting despite repeated complaints. The federation has already distanced itself from the case, saying it is a private affair between two individuals.

Noted lawyer Rahul Mehra explained the legal angle, saying that the police was bound by rules to register the case and had four weeks to investigate and file a closure report with reasons if it did not find merit in the case. The earlier allegations were investigated by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Ludhiana police without filing an FIR and, following inquiries, she was asked to approach the Haryana Police due to jurisdiction issues. Sardar is a DSP in Haryana Police.

The woman, an Indian-origin former under-19 England hockey player, has claimed to be in a relationship with Sardar for the past four years, getting engaged in 2014 with the consent of both families and even undergoing an abortion last year before things soured.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2020 12:46:59 PM |

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