‘Attempt to spoil image’: Haryana minister on sexual harassment case against him

Haryana Sports Minister Sandeep Singh on Sunday dismissed sexual harassment allegations that have surfaced against him as an “attempt to spoil my image”. He, however, stressed that he was hoping for a thorough investigation into the matter. Speaking to news agency ANI, Singh said he is handing over his responsibilities – as the state’s sports minister – to Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar until the investigation is on.

“There is an attempt to spoil my image. I hope there will be a thorough investigation over 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,” Sandeep Singh can be heard saying in a video.

On the basis of a complaint by a female junior athletics coach of Haryana, the Chandigarh Police filed an FIR (first information report) against Sandeep Singh for sexually harassing her. A case under Sections 354 (Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 354A (sexual harassment), 354B (Assault or use of criminal force to woman with intent to disrobe), 342 (wrongful confinement) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) was registered.

Singh has been accused of indulging in sexual misconduct by the woman during her visit to his official residence in Chandigarh. “I have full faith in the Chandigarh Police and was assured a fair inquiry,” said the woman, who was recruited as junior coach in September, HT reported earlier. The woman visited the Chandigarh Police headquarters on Friday and met senior superintendent of police (SSP) Manisha Choudhary and superintendent of police (SP, city) Shruti Arora.

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