Chattha faces sexual assault allegations, may be questioned

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Karnal
  • Updated: Jul 17, 2014 23:05 IST

Haryana finance minister Harmohinder Singh Chattha will soon be questioned as he faces allegations of molesting a councillor from Pehowa town of Kurukshetra.

A veteran Congress leader, Chattha is a legislator from Pehowa.

The complainant, who is also a Congress leader and a party's ticket-seeker from Pehowa, had charged Chattha with 'touching her face' in an indecent manner.

In her complaint filed with Kurukshetra police on Wednesday (HT has a copy), the complainant alleged that Chattha had 'sexually assaulted' her at his Chandigarh residence in November 2012 on the pretext of appointing her the chairperson of Pehowa municipal committee

"I did not report the matter to the police, fearing that it will bring bad name to my family," she said in her complaint. She further alleged that on Tuesday, when Congress observer G Rudra Raju reached Pehowa to get the feedback from the ticket aspirants, Chattha again touched her indecently.

Deputy superintendent of police Nupur Bishnoi said on Thursday that Chattha would be asked to join the investigation.

She confirmed that no case had been registered as a probe was on to verify the charges.

Meanwhile, sources in the police said that the complainant had been urged to produce a witness to strengthen her allegations.

"No formal complaint was made in connection with the alleged sexual assault taken place in 2012. The recent alleged crime took place at the rest house where several Congress leaders and workers were present. Though the complainant has not produced any eyewitness to corroborate her charges, the complaint is being looked into seriously," said an official privy to the investigation, while requesting anonymity.

When contacted, Chattha rubbished the charges and said that in an attempt to get the Congress ticket from Pehowa, the woman councillor had levelled false allegations against him.
"The complaint is politically motivated and a clear attempt to malign my reputation ahead of the assmebly elections," Chattha said. He said that he was elected an MLA for the first time in 1972 and his political career spanning over four decades was clean.

Meanwhile, the 'victim' met Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Avtar Singh Makkar at Gurdwara Chhevein Patshahi. She has also sent written complaints to President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Akal Takth jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh, besides National Women's Commission.

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