Mallakhamb federation’s president resigns over sexual harassment charges | More sports News

Complaint filed by 7 girls, some of them minors, and a male member of the team
NEW DELHI: Ramesh Indoliya, President of Mallakhamb Indian Federation (MFI), and the president of sport’s world governing body, the International Federation Mallakhamb (FIM), resigned from his post on Sunday after sexual harassment charges were brought against him.
The veteran sports administrator resigned following a decision by the MFI’s special general meeting (SGBM) here. Indoliya, who hails from Rajasthan, was stripped as president after 23 out of 25 member associations in the state consented to the same at SGBM.
All the athletes who filed the complaint belong to different cities in Rajasthan, a state where Indoliya is from. Seven of the eight complainants are girls. TOI retains the identity of the athletes because some of them are still minors.
Doctor Rajkumar Sharmamember of the MFI’s Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) about sexual harassment, told TOI: “The written complaints were filed in May June this year. All the athletes filed complaints individually recounting their ordeal. Most of them talked about Indoliya affecting them inappropriately and making them uncomfortable with his sexual overtures. No FIR was filed against him as neither athlete pursued the case.”
In a letter written by Sharma (dated September 7) to the Secretary General Dharam Vir Singh, Sharma informed of Indoliya’s arbitrary way of disbanding the committee investigating sexual harassment allegations, which was replaced by Indoliya’s own group of people. In his letter, Sharma named the athletes who filed the harassment complaint against Indoliya.
Mallakhamb is an indigenous discipline that the central government has identified to develop under its ambitious ‘Indiaflagship program. He will make his debut at the 2022 Gujarat National Games, his competition days scheduled for October 7-11 in Ahmedabad.
In light of the harassment charges against Indoliya and the federation’s failure to adhere to the provisions of the National Sports Code of India 2011, the IMF’s recognition as a National Sports Federation (NSF) was withdrawn and its annual financial subsidy approved by the ministry of sports. The IMF did not let the news go public, but a letter to that effect, dated September 2, 2022, now in the possession of TOI, was released by the ministry earlier this month.
“Upon review, it was found that MFI’s constitution still does not comply with the 2011 Sporting Code. It was also noted that MFI has not taken any steps to form a Complaints Committee/Sexual Harassment Committee to investigate or dispose of the complaints received against the president.Therefore, it was decided to withdraw recognition from the MFI until its constitution is amended in accordance with the NSDCI and a sexual harassment committee is formed to investigate/discuss complaints of sexual harassment against the president of the federation,” the letter from Sudhir Kumar GuptaGOI Undersecretary, MYAS.
Indoliya, in his defence, refuted the allegations made against him and informed that he had resigned from his post of his own free will. “I’ve been associated with mallakhamb for six and a half years. Nothing like this has ever happened.” Asked about the ministry’s letter mentioning the harassment charges, he said: “I am not aware of any such letter. You better ask the ministry. We followed the constitution according to the sports code.”
Asked about the dissolution of the ICC, he shot back: “People had their own agenda. We formed the committee because there were a lot of internal problems.”
Senior Vice President of MFI Goa, Durgesh Goankar has been appointed President in office until elections are held.

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