Kaushik raises doubts over Hockey India probe

July 26th, 2010 - 10:46 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 26 (IANS) National women’s hockey coach Maharaj Kishan Kaushik, who is facing allegations of sexual harassment, Monday raised serious doubts over the way Hockey India (HI) handled the internal inquiry and went out of its way in recommending action against him.
Kaushik was particularly unhappy with HI secretary general Narinder Batra for making contradictory statements and said it was a clear case of “manipulation”.

Kaushik, flanked by two lawyers Mandira Mitra and Adhip Iyer, said he has filed a reply to the HI’s note to the sports ministry.

“The way HI recommended action and made some allegations against me makes me feel some manipulation has been done. And I felt that I need to have a lawyer. I have strong objection to what he (Batra) said and the contents of the letter sent to the sports ministry. I could not react earlier because I got the copy of the letter only today. I am upset,” said Kaushik, who has resigned as coach after a player Ranjitha Devi levelled charges of sexual harassment against him.

“When the probe committee has not made any adverse comment against me, how can HI secretary general come to a conclusion that the player’s allegations were highly credible and in the same breath saying that they need to be verified.”

Kaushik gave a copy of his reply to the media in which he trained his gun at Batra.

“It is a gross abuse of power committed by Narinder Batra, who is seeking re-election. Batra has been conspiring for long to appoint a certain person as coach of the national hockey team and this is further substantiated by the fact that within two-three days, a prominent ex-hockey player offered his services for the hockey team.”

Kaushik said his disciplined attitude might be the reason behind Ranjitha, supported by the entire team, levelling such allegations.

“The charges against me are baseless and it has been fabricated. I am sure I will come out clean.

Kaushik said if time comes he is prepared to take legal action.

Kaushik’s lawyer Mandira said there are several “discrepancies” in HI letter and Batra’s comments.

“Mr. Kaushik got the letter, which was sent to the sports ministry and SAI, Monday. They said they are also sending a copy of the letter to the police commissioner. It was very necessary to reply to this letter. They have highlighted certain specific points in the letter which shows discrepancy. If the allegations are credible where is the proof and how can they say so without verification. Batra also said he wants to make it as an example which is objectionable.

“They should not have released the documents to the media before Kaushik got the letter. They are motivated by others,” Mandira said.

The five-member committee set up by HI to look into the allegations of Ranjitha Devi gave its report Friday and HI submitted its recommendations to the government with a copy to the police Saturday. Batra Saturday said the committee finalised its report after talking to various people including the team captain.

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