Who is Sandeep Singh? Indian hockey legend, Haryana’s ex-sports minister accused of sexual harassment

The penalty corner specialist was an absolute nightmare for opposition defenders

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Sunday, January 01, 2023, 02:19 PM IST
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Haryana Sports Minister Sandeep Singh has been booked on charges of sexual harassment and wrongful confinement at the complaint of a woman coach.

The FIR against the 36-year-old BJP leader, who is also a former Indian hockey team captain and a first-time MLA, was registered on Saturday, they said.

The minister, however, has dismissed the accusations as baseless and has called for an independent probe.

Sandeep Singh was born on February 27, 1986, in Shahabad, Haryana, to Gurucharan Singh Saini and Daljeet Kaur Saini. He attended Shivalik Public School in Mohali. He made a name for himself in hockey at a very young age.

'Fastest drag-flicker

Sandeep’s elder brother Bikramjeet, who is also a hockey player, inspired him to take up the sport. Sandeep made headlines even as a teenager for drag flicking the ball quicker than anyone else in the game. He soon became renowned for holding the title of “the fastest drag-flicker” in the world.

'Nightmare for opposition'

The penalty corner specialist was an absolute nightmare for opposition defenders. Sandeep made his international debut in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 2004. The star player was just 17 when he represented India in the 2012 London Olympics.

Soon after, Sandeep was handed the captaincy of the Indian Hockey team; he managed to take the team to the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup title win after defeating Malaysia in 2009.

Unfortunate incident

However, on August 22, 2006, while boarding the Shatabdi Express, a Railway Protection Force jawan accidentally shot the hockey player. This incident left Sandeep with a punctured pancreas and significant damage to the liver, kidneys, and backbone.

He was wheelchair-bound for more than a year. However, “Flicker Singh” made a miraculous comeback to hockey after recovering fully. He was honored with the Arjuna Award for his achievements in hockey, in 2010.

Sandeep retired from professional hockey in 2016. He is a DSP rank holder in Haryana Police. The inspiring superstar became the sports minister of Haryana in 2019. His journey continues to inspire everyone.

Biography

Indian filmmaker Shaad Ali made a biographical film in 2018, titled Soorma, based on Sandeep's life. Diljit Dosanjh played the hockey player's role. He appeared as a judge on the Indian reality television series MTV Roadies.

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