'Accused but not guilty yet': Khattar on sexual assault case against minister

Jan 03, 2023 01:06 PM IST

Calls for Sandeep Singh's resignation have been growing over the case.

Anger continues to grow after allegations of sexual assault emerged in Haryana against Sandeep Singh, who handed over his responsibilities as the sports minister to Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Sunday. After the case was filed against him in Chandigarh, Singh said the allegations - by a junior woman coach - were made to "spoil his image". Calls have been growing, however, for his resignation.

(File photo) Sandeep Singh on Sunday handed over the sports portfolio to Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, (PTI)
(File photo) Sandeep Singh on Sunday handed over the sports portfolio to Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, (PTI)

On Tuesday, Chief Minister Khattar said that they "will wait till the probe is over". "A woman player has accused Sandeep Singh but he is not guilty yet. Meanwhile, we have removed him from the post, so that the investigation can be done smoothly. We will wait for the investigation to be over," he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

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His comments come as Haryana’s farm unions and two khaps on Monday demanded Sandeep Singh's resignation. They have threatened to launch an agitation if the government does not agree to the demands. Sandeep Singh is former India hockey skipper and a first-time BJP MLA. He is facing a criminal case for allegedly outraging the modesty of a woman coach.

“Sandeep Singh’s influence as a minister is apparent. Despite a clear mandate of the law, the Chandigarh Police have not taken any steps to arrest him. Is there some special privilege he is enjoying? Section 354 and 354 B of the IPC (Indian Penal Code) are non -bailable offences and despite the FIR, the police have not arrested Singh," lawyer and activist Vrinda Grover was quoted as saying in an HT report on Monday.

The All-India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) national vice-president Jagmati Sangwan further insisted: "The minister should be sacked by the chief minister from the council of ministers to send a strong message."

(With inputs from ANI and bureau)

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