Asian Games gold medallist boxer turned coach Ngangom Dingku — more popularly known in the sporting world as Dingko Singh — was on Friday sent to judicial custody for 15 days on charges of physically assaulting a teenaged weightlifter in Imphal.
The ace boxer, who scripted history by winning a gold medal in the 13th Asian Games in Bangkok in 1998, was arrested on Thursday for allegedly assaulting the 17-year-old girl, a Sports Authority of India (SAI) trainee.
Singh, a SAI coach, was booked on charges of physically assaulting and outraging modesty of the girl.
The 35-year-old Arjuna Awardee allegedly assaulted the girl on January 13 after she reportedly scribbled ‘I love you’ before the word ‘Oja Dingku’ (teacher Dingku) with her finger on his dust-covered car at Khuman Lampak sports complex in Imphal
The girl claimed she had written only ‘Oja Dingku’. She is undergoing treatment at a hospital in Imphal. Doctors described her condition as serious but stable.
Singh allegedly assaulted two of the weightlifter’s fellow trainees as well.
Singh, who joined SAI in his home state in December last year, was produced before chief judicial magistrate (Imphal West) RK Memi’s court around 3.30pm.
“This is not the final. The final verdict will come only after the formal trial,” his lawyer Mani Sharma said after he was remanded in judicial custody.
Condemning the incident, Manipur Weightlifting Association secretary Sunil Elangbam said, “We’ll lodge a formal complaint with the concerned authority after consulting legal experts”.
Olympian weightlifter Sonia Chanu said the assault on the girls was very unfortunate.
Mapi Council Manipur, a social organisation, has urged the state to change the name of Dingku Road, which was named so after Singh’s achievement in the Bangkok Asian Games.