A fortnight after HT broke the story of a teenage girl being allegedly raped by the sports officer of a kabaddi hostel in Agra in 2010, the state government has ordered an enquiry.
After protests and effigies of the official, Ajay Sethi, were burnt in Agra and Bulandshahar, the administration finally woke up, with sources confirming that the UP sports directorate head, Shailesh Kumar Singh, had asked the Agra district magistrate to investigate the matter. The directorate has also reportedly asked the government to end Sethi’s ‘attachment’ with the Agra centre immediately.
Meanwhile, the eyewitness in the case has sent a reminder to chief minister, Akhilesh Yadav, demanding immediate suspension of Sethi and a thorough enquiry into the episode.
HT has learnt that after the complaint was filed against Sethi in March, the then director (sports), Prabhu N Singh, had transferred him to Bulandshahar on April 28 but he allegedly managed to come back to the Agra centre on May 31.
This special treatment had raised eyebrows in administrative circles as two permanent coaches, deputy sports officer, Arvind Yadav, and assistant coach, Rahul Chopra, were already there at the centre to look after the training of the 15 players in the hostel. “Do we really need Sethi in Agra?” asked a local officer.
While Sethi stuck to his guns, saying that the allegations of rape were an “attempt to malign my reputation”, state women’s commission chairperson, Zareena Usmani, promised justice to the victim. “I am aware of the incident and am waiting for an official complaint to the commission,” she said, adding, “It’s a serious issue and the commission will help the victim get justice.”