Superdad: A Chandigarh Man Launches His Own Investigation to Bring to Justice His Daughter’s Sexual Harassers

Gender

Superdad: A Chandigarh Man Launches His Own Investigation to Bring to Justice His Daughter’s Sexual Harassers

Illustration: Mitesh Parmar

A controversial sexual harassment case that has been looming over the Chandigarh Lawn Tennis Academy received its latest twist. Five suspects were accused of sexually harassing a female student at a Chandigarh tennis academy in July last year. The survivor’s father filed a case with the police, only to have a case filed against him by one of the accused, who claimed the father arrived at the academy and beat him. The father also alleged that CLTA officials attempted to silence his daughter to shield the accused players. However, the officials were not named as accused in the police’s First Information Report.

One of the accused is allegedly a player in the Junior Davis Cup. The survivor’s father alleged that CLTA officials, including president Jai Singh Gill, chief operating officer Meghraj, and chief coach Romen Singh threatened the survivor against pursuing action against her assaulters. CLTA president Gill denied this allegation. When the case made it to courts in September 2019, the accused received bail and were let go by police, on account of them providing documentation from the tennis academy that showed all five were underage.

However, the father did not give up when the accused were granted bail. Convinced there was more to the matter, he travelled to Rohtak, Palwal, and Hisar in Haryana, seeking the original dates of birth of the accused. He reached out to the schools where the accused had studied and dug up the information. What he found out was that three of the five had apparently fudged the details of their age, and were not minors. In November last year, Chandigarh Police verified the documents provided by the father on the direction of the court. The father of one of the accused was charged with forgery over the false birth certificate.

The survivor’s father did not stop at that. He also filed a case against Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.

Now that court hearings have been affected by the pandemic, he has written to the All Indian Tennis Association and is awaiting a response.

The father’s diligence has ensured that his daughter’s case will now get a fair hearing. CLTA has refused to make any further comments, as the matter is still in court.

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