Acting on a complaint of alleged sexual harassment, the Varanasi police on Monday registered an FIR against the secretary-general of UP Football Association (UPFA), Mohd Shamsuddin.
A woman footballer, who hails from Meerut, registered her statement before the magistrate under Section 164 on Monday, but the police lodged the case under Sections 342 and 354 of the IPC. No arrest has been made so far.
The state government-backed Uttar Pradesh sports directorate has suspended the deputy sports officer, Shamim Ahmad, who allegedly took the girl to Shamsuddin’s house on Sunday morning.
“DSO Shamim Ahmad has been suspended with immediate effect and we have written to the UPFA requesting them to dissolve the old body and form a new one without Shamsuddin,” director, sports, Ravindra K Naik, told HT.
“Such people should be removed from the body and if the state body doesn’t listen to us, we will request the All India Football Federation (AIFF) for disaffiliation of the state unit,” he added.
Shamsuddin allegedly forced one of the campers of the state squad to come to his residence on Sunday morning to discuss her selection to the national camp. “The coach (Ahmad) went out after we reached Shamsuddin’s residence. Thereafter, Shamsuddin started physically exploiting me,” said the victim. “I was shocked and rushed outside. Meanwhile, Ahmad returned and we came back to the stadium,” she added.
Protests against the incident continued as the 25 campers refused to join training and shouted slogans. “We are being pressurised to withdraw the case as some people from the sporting body have threatened us with dire consequences, but we aren’t going to succumb to pressure,” said one of the campers.
Shamsuddin denied the charge leveled against him. “It’s a conspiracy against me and I’m shocked,” he added.
Subrata Dutta, senior vice-president of AIFF, said, “Accusing someone does not mean he is guilty. Let the law take its course and the AIFF will follow its constitution,” he said.
This means till Shamsuddin is proved guilty he can continue as general secretary, but if he is charged, the AIFF executive committee can expel him.