Skip to main content
xYOU DESERVE INDEPENDENT, CRITICAL MEDIA. We want readers like you. Support independent critical media.

Haryana: How Would the Investigation be Fair if Sandeep Singh Remains the Sports Minister, Asks the Complainant's Father

Around 30,000 signatures collected from Haryana for sacking Sandeep Singh were presented to the President's office.

'Nyay Sangharsh Samiti', a coalition of 16 organisations, had gathered on Jantar Mantar to raise their voice to support the 'woman athlete', who recently accused the Sports minister of Haryana "Sandeep Singh' of sexual harassment.

The coalition, led by the All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA), submitted a petition consisting of 30,000 signatures from all over Haryana to the President's office on Monday, seeking the minister's removal and a fair investigation of the matter.

On December 26, a woman Athlete from Haryana filed an FIR against the current sports minister of Haryana, Sandeep Singh, in Chandigarh. Just after the FIR, the chief minister of Haryana reportedly said, "Levelling allegations and an FIR being registered on that basis do not prove a person guilty."

The chief minister has faced much backlash for the statement from the progressive women's organisations; however, despite over two months of FIR, Sandeep Singh still holds a cabinet portfolio.

The Haryana government, in its defence, has formed an SIT (special investigation team) to investigate the matter. After severe criticism from the complainant's family and the women's organisations, the name of the SIT was changed to 'Fact finding Committee'.

Present at the press conference, Dr Harpal Singh Dagar, the complainant's father, made some serious accusations against the Haryana government and chief minister Khattar. He claims that the government-provided security personnel are acting as government spies rather than working for his daughter's protection.

"Recently, some unknown people stopped her scooter, threatening her to withdraw her case. The security provided to her is not adequate. They are rather working for the government, not for her."

He further spoke about the 'fact-finding committee', which has been visiting his daughter's schools and workplaces to gather information about her to assassinate her character.

"How could a fair investigation occur when the accused still holds a powerful position in the cabinet?" he asked.

Attending the event, the complainant's coach Rajbeer Singh described the athlete as an 'exceptional player' and saw her as the pride of the Bhiwani region and Haryana. While describing the fearful environment under which the athlete's family has been operating, he alleged that the intimidations and character assassinations are the means to protect the minister by Haryana's chief minister and women's commission.

"The questions should have been from the minister; the Haryana government has reversed the procedure. The athlete is being investigated, questioned and subjected to mental torture, and the minister is still holding the portfolio," he added.

In February this year, when the government failed to sack the minister, the civil society organisations formed a 'Nyay Sangharsh Samiti' committee to pressure the government. The Samiti members started a campaign collecting signatures from the people demanding the minister's dismissal and a fair investigation. With 30,000 signatures, the members had gathered at the Jantar Mantar to submit them to the President's office.

Maryam Dhawle, the president of AIDWA, expressed disappointment with the lack of response from the President despite their efforts to draw attention to the issue of sexual harassment and violence against women.

"It's very disappointing to see that the president, who herself is a woman, has been ignoring such heinous crimes as sexual harassment. We tried contacting her several times but have not received any response yet."

Mamoona Mulla, another member of AIDWA, along with the representatives of other organisations, submitted the signatures and petition to the President's office since the president has not given them time for a meeting.

The Sports Minister has faced opposition recently, as many women reportedly resisted his attempt to unfurl the tricolour during a state event on January 26.

Get the latest reports & analysis with people's perspective on Protests, movements & deep analytical videos, discussions of the current affairs in your Telegram app. Subscribe to NewsClick's Telegram channel & get Real-Time updates on stories, as they get published on our website.

Subscribe Newsclick On Telegram