Taking serious note of the sexual harassment complaint that a woman shooter has filed against two of her own team members, the Sports Ministry promised "stringent action" against the accused if they are found guilty after an inquiry.
"The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports remains committed to ensuring that sports in India remains free of any form of sexual harassment and reiterates that stringent action shall be taken against anyone who is found to be guilty of such practices which are abhorrent to the spirit of sports," the Ministry said in a statement.
A female shooter, who was selected in the trap junior women's event in an international competition held at Suhl, Germany earlier this month, had complained about the incident to the Ministry on June 10.
"In the complaint, the complainant accused two of her team members at the event of making sexual and derogatory comments," the Ministry stated.
"Taking cognisance of the complaint, Secretary (Sports) asked DG, SAI the same day to get an immediate report from the concerned national sports federation, NRAI and to initiate firm disciplinary action against the two shooters if the complaint was found to be true. DG, SAI referred the matter to NRAI on June 11, 2013," it added.
NRAI has referred the complaint to the chairman of the six-member athletes committee, Moraad Ali Khan, and asked for a report on the matter within 15 days. The report is still awaited from NRAI.
"Pending the receipt of the committee's report, the two accused have been suspended by NRAI for one competition in view of the Team Manager's report that they had violated the instructions of the Manager regarding the team's conduct during the event," the Ministry said.
Photograph: Mike Hutchings/Reuters