DCW objects to all-male panel for hockey team scandal probe

In a strongly-worded letter to Sports Minister M S Gill, DCW Chairperson Barkha Singh said complaints of such nature would have a "highly demoralising" effect on the country's sportswomen at a time when the country is going to host the Commonwealth Games.
Asking the Minister to furnish details about the complaint filed by hockey player Ranjita Devi and action taken by the Ministry, Singh said that the DWC was ready to assist in the inquiry if required.

Describing the allegations as "very serious", Singh said the committee formed by the Hockey India was an "all-male body" which was in violation to the Supreme Court guidelines in setting up Sexual Harassment Committees.

"Ideally, the committee inquiring into sexual harassment ought to have a woman as a chairperson and 50 per cent of its members as female and a NGO representative to ensure fairness and complete objectivity of the inquiry. The committee should therefore be constituted on these lines," she said.

The panel has five members which is headed by Hockey India official Rajiv Mehta. The other members include Zafar Iqbal, Ajitpal Singh and Sudarshan Pathak.

Stung by the allegations, Kaushik resigned from the post of coach yesterday as the hockey establishment launched a thorough probe into the sex scandal which has rocked the national game. Kaushik has said the allegations were baseless and he was a victim of "big-time conspiracy".

Hockey India also sacked videographer Basavraj whose photographs with prostitutes during the recent Canada and China tour were sent to HI through an anonymous e-mail.

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