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SAI begins probe into athlete harassment case


Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Oct 10:

The Sports Authority of India (SAI) authorities today began investigation into the alleged physical and mental harassment of a woman athlete, an inmate of the SAI hostel in Cuttack.

SAI sports psychologist Reena Kaul
SAI sports psychologist Reena Kaul

The probe team, headed by SAI sports psychologist Reena Kaul, began its inquiry today. Kaul met the complainant as well as the inmates of the hostel as part of the investigation.

She stressed that there is a need for counselling of the woman athletes for greater coordination between the staff, including the coach, and the inmates.

“We understand that the situation was not so grave and it got aggravated. I have been sent to counsel the inmates and inquire into the allegations. I have spoken to the inmates and will speak to the coach to ascertain the truth so that justice is done,” Kaul said.

The 17-year-old complainant today reiterated her allegations of physical and mental torture against the coach Sushant Roy. She had on Wednesday levelled charges of harassment against Roy. The athlete had also lodged a written complaint with the Mahila police station in the city in this regard.

In her complaint, she had stated that she was subjected to physical and mental torture by her coach for the last three months. The athlete was accompanied by her family members to the police station to lodge the complaint.

The Commissionerate Police arrested the accused coach on Thursday. “Prima facie, we have got some evidences against him. Based on that, we have arrested him and several Sections of the IPC have been slapped against him,” DCP Sanjeev Arora had told mediapersons after the arrest.

Notably, cases have been registered against the accused under Sections 354 (A), 323, 294, 506 and 34 of IPC and Section 10 of Protection of Children Sexual Offence (POCSO) Act.

Following the complaint, police visited the SAI hostel and conducted an inquiry before arresting him. The cops interrogated fellow athletes of the complainant, the coach and other boarders of the hostel.

The coach has, however, denied the allegations.