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Kabaddi coach wins a 6-year long battle in sexual harassment case

Kabaddi coach wins a 6-year long battle in sexual harassment case

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Published: 30 Jun 2018 2:03 PM GMT
In a country where blaming the victim is always the first instinct when it comes to dealing with cases of violence and harassment against women, it took the Court six years to finally grant justice to a senior female Kabaddi coach who had alleged being molested by another senior male colleague. The news was broken by The Hindu who spoke to the coach concerned but decided to change her name for issues of privacy. A senior kabaddi/kho kho coach with the Sports Authority of India (SAI), the woman in question had been association with a regional SAI in Andhra in 2012 when the incident took place. Typically, it was issue of abuse of power. Her harasser was someone the victim knew previously before joining the service together. The culprit worked as a field assistant-cum senior accountant. According to reports, a transfer of the victim to a different regional centre did not help matters as her tormentor was also deputed to work in the same workplace. The accused is a married man with children while the only support the victim got was from her father who is well above eighty years old.
“Though I felt that I was being sexually harassed by him initially, I did not complain to the authorities keeping in mind his family. I was forced to complain as he was crossing his limits,” the victim was quoted as saying by The Hindu.
Despite old age, my father repeatedly submitted petitions to higher ups in SAI and met them without losing hope. The tormentor made use of the delay to weaken the case by the intimidating witnesses. He even coerced them to turn hostile,” she continued. Recently, a survey by Reuters ranked India as the foremost country ranking among nations unsafe for women. This incident is proof that workplace harassment is very real and something which definitely should not be ignored.
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SAI sacks coach after campers allege sexual harrassment In this particular case, the accused was granted a sentence of compulsory voluntary retirement from his position by the Director-General of SAI after the allegations of harassment against him were proved. "The probe officer observed that he concluded the case in favour of awarding punishment to the accused after diligent examination of facts, the inquiry committee report, records relating to examination and cross-examination of the victim, harasser and witnesses," the victim continued in her statement to The Hindu. Sports in India is a very male dominated field and such incidents are quite common. Most of the time, issues like this are successfully swept under the radar through tactics of intimidation and further harassment. In this case, The Bridge lauds the victim for speaking out and not giving up. Hopefully, she has successfully set an example of strength for the women around her.
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