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Sexual assault allegations rock Uttarakhand cricket, coach booked under POCSO

2023-12-03 11:26:16source:rna

A former office bearer of the Cricket Association of Uttarakhand (CAU) and coach of an national-level women cricketer has been booked under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act after a purported audio recording of him having an obscene phone call with a minor girl student at the academy went viral.

Sexual assault allegations rock Uttarakhand cricket, coach booked under POCSO

The coach, 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.

Sexual assault allegations rock Uttarakhand cricket, coach booked under POCSO

The FIR was registered four days after he consumed a poisonous substance and was admitted to a hospital.

Sexual assault allegations rock Uttarakhand cricket, coach booked under POCSO

In the complaint registered Tuesday, the girl’s father accused Shah of molesting his daughter on several occasions, making lewd comments and advances over the phone, asking for sexual favours for himself and two other CAU office-bearers, making casteist comments, and threatening to destroy her cricketing career if she dares to tell anyone.

Lokendra Bahuguna, Station House Officer (SHO) of Nehru Colony police station, under which Shah’s cricket academy falls, said that the girl’s father got an FIR registered against Shah under sections 354A (sexual harassment) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC along with section 7/8 of the POCSO Act and section 3 of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

The father alleged that on March 13, when his daughter came to her room after cricket practice at the academy, Shah called on her friend’s phone and talked obscenely. The call was recorded by her. The father also alleged that Shah used to threaten his daughter and use casteist, saying that she does not deserve to play with people from the upper caste.

On Friday, Shah allegedly consumed a poisonous substance after the purported audio recording of the phone call went viral, and was admitted to the ICU of a Dehradun hospital.


The Cricket Association of Uttarakhand (CAU) has already 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 are yet to take a decision on his future there. Shah was appointed as a co-convenor of women’s cricket around a month ago.

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“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.

Usha Negi, a former chairperson of the state commission for the protection of child rights, claimed three other girls who were earlier part of the academy have approached her, and she met the Dehradun SSP with their complaint.

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“Police officials have assured us of a police case and strict action. These immoral acts have been taking place in such academies. The accused enjoy the backing of some very powerful people and a lot of money is involved. A detailed investigation is needed to track down all those involved in such activities,” alleged Negi.

© The Indian Express (P) Ltd