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HindustanTimes Sat,02 Aug 2014

Other Sport

Lewd messages land junior national lifter in a soup
Saurabh Duggal, Hindustan Times
Chandigarh, March 23, 2013
First Published: 00:45 IST(23/3/2013)
Last Updated: 00:46 IST(23/3/2013)

To tackle the increase in sexual harassment cases against women, amendments have been carried out to the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and new sections have been added to give it more teeth.

One such section, 354D, relates to stalking. The results have started to come in with a rise in the registration of cases (police complaints) and autonomous bodies taking disciplinary action.

In one such case, the Weightlifting Federation of India (WFI) has thrown out a 19-year-old national medallist, Shubham Verma, from the ongoing junior national camp at National Institute of Sports (NIS) Patiala.

The Haryana lifter had allegedly sent lewd messages to three women lifters, also part of the camp, from his mobile phone. All the three lifters complained to their coach, informing him that Verma had also made calls.

SAI made aware
The coach forwarded the complaint to the federation, and WFI president, BP Baishya, dropped the lifter from the camp on Thursday evening. A communication has also been forwarded to the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and NIS.

"I got a joint written complaint from the coaches in the camp and after inquiring into the matter and speaking to the concerned personally, I found that Shubham Verma was guilty. Moreover, he confessed to the coaches about sending lewd messages to the girls. So, we have suspended him from the national camp and he has been told to leave," said Baishya.

"Discipline is our top priority and we are not going to tolerate such cases. We want conducive environment for the girls so that there shouldn't be any obstacles for them in achieving heights," he added.

The WFI has told Verma to file his reply within 15 days. "Though the boy has confessed, we have a procedure to follow. After examining it (reply), we will decide on the quantum of punishment," said Baishya.

Authorities at NIS have told Verma to vacate the hostel and leave the camp immediately.


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