After a purported audio recording of him having an obscene phone call with a minor girl student at the academy went viral, a former office bearer of the Cricket Association of Uttarakhand (CAU) and coach of a national-level women cricketer was booked under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, reported the Indian Express
The accused, Narendra Shah, was posted as the co-convenor of the women’s cricket in Uttarakhand until Saturday. He also runs a cricket academy in Dehradun, and is the secretary of the Chamoli district cricket association.
An FIR was filed four days after he was brought to the hospital after consuming a toxic substance.
The girl's father accused Shah of assaulting his daughter on many occasions, making filthy comments and advances over the phone, requesting sexual favours for himself and two other CAU office-bearers, making casteist remarks, and threatening to ruin her cricketing future if she told anybody.
The girl's father filed an FIR against Shah under sections 354A (sexual harassment) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC, as well as sections 7/8 of the POCSO Act and Section 3 of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, according to Lokendra Bahuguna, Station House Officer (SHO) of Nehru Colony police station, under which Shah's cricket academy falls.
The father said that when his daughter returned to her room after cricket practice at the academy on March 13, Shah contacted her friend's phone and spoke obscenely. She taped the phone call. The father also claimed that Shah threatened his daughter and used casteist language, telling her that she did not deserve to play with individuals from the upper caste.
The Cricket Association of Uttarakhand (CAU) suspended Shah from the post of co-convenor of women’s cricket in the state. Vijay Pratap Malla, the CAU spokesperson, said the step was taken during a meeting on Saturday.
He said Shah still holds the position of secretary of the Chamoli district cricket association, and they have yet to decide on his future there. Shah was appointed as a co-convenor of women’s cricket around a month ago.
“The action was taken after we took suo motu cognizance as the matter is very serious. However, we would like to add that the matter should have been brought to us first as we have a dedicated grievances cell that deals with such issues,” said Malla, claiming that the names of other office bearers have also come forward as part of an alleged conspiracy, and though there is clear evidence against Shah, there is nothing concrete so far to suggest anyone else from the CAU was involved in such activities.
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