Sports Minister Sandeep

‘Sports Min Sandeep Harassed Me,’ Says Jr Athlete Coach

Former national-level player and junior athlete coach in Haryana and complainant against State’s sports minister Sandeep Singh over sexual harassment charges on Sunday said the Olympian continuously harassed me physically and mentally.

The alleged victim’s statement came while she was walking out after meeting State Home Minister Anil Vij to seek help from him at his official residence in Ambala.
“Home Minister has always helped us. Ever since he was the Sports Minister, there have been a lot of expectations from him. He has always helped. Even today I had full faith that he will hear me and will be on the side of justice,” she said.

Earlier this month, the woman, who is a junior athlete coach, held a press conference at the office of the opposition party Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), wherein she alleged that the minister harassed her from February to November last year, by repeated messages on social media and had touched her inappropriately and also threatened her in messages.

During the press briefing, the alleged victim demanded that the Manohar Lal Khattar government immediately sack Sandeep Singh and set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the matter.

Notably, on Sunday, the woman told ANI that she opened up about the incident to the public after her patience went off.

“I am also a player, think how much patience I would have to tolerate such ill behaviour of this person from February till now,” the woman said, adding that she didn’t open up about the incident earlier as she was afraid of negative impact on the sports industry.

“I tried as much as I could. He created, such an atmosphere officially that a girl comes to him automatically,” she added.

The woman reiterated that she opened up to the public only after her patience broke up.

To a question about other victims, hesitating to open up, she said, “I have full hope as soon as he resigns and is behind bars, those people will definitely come forward.”

“Everyone should know how an Olympic-level athlete misbehaved with another national-level athlete,” she said, demanding strict action against the minister.

However, Olympian and Haryana Sports Minister Sandeep Singh have been brushing off the allegations, levelled against him by the junior athlete coach.

The Chandigarh police have registered an FIR against the Haryana Sports Minister following a complaint by the female coach.

A case has been registered under sections 354, 354A, 354B, 342, and 506 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and begun an investigation into the matter.

Responding to the development, Haryana Sports Minister told ANI that he has handed over the responsibility of the Sports department to Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar till pending enquiry. (ANI)

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IAF Seeks More Fighter Jets

IAF Seeks More Fighter Jets In View Of Threat From China, Pak

Citing the increasing number of fighter aircraft in the Chinese and Pakistan air forces, the Indian Air Force on Tuesday said it would need more combat aircraft to meet security challenges.

“The environment around us remains hostile and there would be a requirement for 42 squadrons of fighter aircraft by the Indian Air Force.” We have to see the case of China and Pakistan also, “Indian Air Force Vice Chief Air Marshal Sandeep Singh said.

He was speaking at a press conference where he was asked whether the IAF could lower its authorized squadron strength number from 42.

The IAF chief, Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, said the aircraft numbers authorized to the force were as per the requirements in view of the security challenges.

IAF is authorized to have 42 squadrons, which would mean around 800 fighter aircraft, but at present, it is stuck at 30 squadrons only due to delays in the development of the LCA Tejas as well as in the procurement of high-ability multirole fighters.

The situation is going to worsen further with the planned decommissioning of the MiG-21s in near future and all squadrons of Jaguar, Mirage-2000, and MiG-29 fighters by the middle of the next decade.

The IAF has plans of inducting around 200 LCAs and 114 multirole fighters in the next 15 years along with six squadrons of Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft.

Pakistan, which has to defend borders mainly with India, only has around 25 squadrons of combat aircraft, while the Chinese Air Force has a large number of aircraft, including fifth-generation fighters like the J-20. (ANI)

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