Chandigarh Police today filed a sexual harassment and criminal intimidation case against Haryana Sports Minister Sandeep Singh, based on a complaint by a junior track and field coach on Friday. The minister has resigned and dismissed the allegations as an attempt to “damage his image”.
“There has been an attempt to tarnish my image. I want a thorough investigation into the false allegations against me. I am handing over the responsibility of the sports department to the Chief Minister until the investigation is reported,” he said.
The woman held a press conference at the office of the opposition Indian National Lega Dar (INLD), demanding that Manohar Lal Qatar’s government immediately fire Sandeep Singh and set up a special investigation team to investigate the matter. She said the minister harassed her through repeated messages on social media between February and November last year. She claimed he touched her inappropriately and threatened her in messages, adding that she had to quit social media due to the constant harassment.
Senior Congress leader and former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda has also called for an impartial inquiry into the matter.
The complainant said Mr Singh first saw her at the gym and contacted her on Instagram.
The minister later insisted they meet, she said. “He messaged me on Instagram saying my National Games credentials were pending and wanted to meet up on that,” she added.
“Unfortunately my credentials have been misplaced by my federation and I have been in contact with the relevant authorities.”
The woman said she eventually agreed to meet with him at his residence-cum-camp office and provided some other documents she had, alleging that when she went there, the minister indulged in sexual misconduct.
Sandeep Singh, BJP MLA from Pehowa, Kurukshetra, is also a professional hockey player and captain of the Indian national hockey team.
In 2018, a biopic called “Soorma” based on Mr Singh was released, in which Punjabi singer and actor Diljit Dosanjh played his role. He is also a judge on the reality show MTV Roadies.
He shot to fame after miraculously recovering from a gunshot wound at the age of 20. Just two days before the 2007 Ice Hockey World Championships, Mr Singh was accidentally shot in the cup by an assistant deputy inspector of the Railway Police Force on a train to Derry, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down for a year.