Hockey India submits probe report to government, police (Lead)

July 24th, 2010 - 10:35 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 24 (IANS) Hockey India (HI) Saturday told the government that it will not need the services of women’s hockey coach M.K Kaushik in future and submitted a copy of its internal report to Delhi police for further investigation.
HI secretary general Narinder Batra said the written submission of Ranjitha Devi, who levelled allegations of sexual harassment against Kaushik, was “highly credible.”

Batra said he has submitted the report of the internal probe committee, which looked into the allegations, to the Sports Authority of India (SAI), the sports ministry and has also marked a copy to the police commissioner.

Batra said they do not want to avail the services of Kaushik as also videographer Basavraj, who has been suspended after photos of him with a prostitute surfaced in the media.

“We have given our recommendations and since it is a serious issue we have also given a copy to the police commissioner. We have said that HI in future will not avail the services of M.K. Kaushik and Basavraj.

“HI feels that the written version of Ranjitha Devi was highly credible and it had some specific charges. But we cannot broaden the scope of our investigation and we do not like the matter to end here.

“The committee does not have coercive powers to go into the issue. In view of the Supreme Court judgement in the Visakha case regarding sexual harassment at work place, which relates to Section 354 of IPC (relating to outraging the modesty of a woman), we are marking a copy to the Delhi police Commissioner for taking suo moto notice so that this can be taken to its logical conclusion,” Batra told reporters.

Batra said they cannot recommend any action against Kaushik as it was not within the purview of the probe panel which did the preliminary inquiry.

“The matter needs to be enquired urgently so that such issues do not happen in future. We did the preliminary inquiry and handed over our report to the government, SAI and we have marked a copy to police to avoid any delay. This issue needs to be inquired and investigated urgently.”

Batra said the committee finalised its report after talking to various people including the team captain.

“We have spoken to the captain and she said the team stands by its view. There was no dissent among the players.”

Batra said HI is making the recommendations after noting down the suggestions made by the five-member committee in its report.

Batra also said the committee’s demand for more time to inquire into the matter was rejected by HI since it would be logical that authorities take up the issue without any delay.

“Let the government of India or police file an FIR for investigating the matter,” he said.

Asked about Basavraj’s case, Batra said: “The assistant coaches have made written replies. One of them has admitted that the pictures of Basavraj with the prostitute were taken during the tour,” he said.

Kaushik resigned Wednesday, saying his position has become untenable after the charges levelled by Ranjitha Devi, who had the support of 31 girls in the camp.

The HI committee comprised Rajiv Mehta (chairman), Zafar Iqbal, Ajit Pal Singh, Sudharshan Pathak and Anupam Gulati.

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