UP sprinter levels molestation charges against AFI official

Ranchi, Feb 17 (PTI) In an embarrassment for the ongoingNational Games, Uttar Pradesh sprinter Priyanka Panwar todaylevelled molestation charges against Athletics Federation ofIndia technical official Anu Kumar and claimed that he hadbeen sexually harassing her for last four years.

She also claimed that he even threatened to drop her fromthe squad if she resisted.

Parents of the athlete, who has South Asian Games goldand silver medal to her name, have registered an FIR inMuzaffarnagar after their several complaints to RailwayMinister Mamta Banerjee and the Sports Ministry had failed todeter the official.

Anu Kumar and his wife Nidhi, on the other hand, claimedthat the athlete was blackmailing them since he barred the herbrother, Arun from participating in the Games because ofoverage.

After winning a bronze in the 100m event, Priyanka toldreporters that the charges her parents have levelled againstAnu were very true.

"Not only me, he (Anu) has been sexually harassing andother athletes for the last four years. We had reported thisat the Mahila Ayog. He would hold my hands and take sexualadvances and if I resist he would threaten me of direconsequences," Priyanka claimed.

"There has been a case of 420 against him also. In everyevents he would disturb me. Not only me, he would harass mybrother," she said.

"He and his wife have loose character. Their previousmarriages have failed and it''s their second marriage," sheadded.

Incidentally, Anu''s wife Nidhi is Priyanka''s rival in the100m.

Anu and Nidhi, on the other hand, said the charges werebaseless.

"It''s a simple case of blackmailing. I''m a technicalofficial and she wants me to clear her from NADA and clear herbrother from overage. We are being harassed. Even my oldfather-in-law, who has been suffering from Hepatitis, has beendragged by them. We have filed a defamation in this regard,"Nidhi said.

"Because of her I could not compete in the 100m event,"she added.

Priyanka''s parents claimed that Anu, who is also arailway official, allegedly harassed their 24-year-olddaughter and threatened her of dire consequences if shedisclosed the matter to anyone.

An FIR was lodged by the victim''s father here yesterday,accusing Anu of harassing his daughter.

The FIR has been registered under IPC sections 354(assault or criminal force to a woman with intent to outrageher modesty) / 509 (intent to insult the modesty of a woman) /504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of thepeace) and 506 (criminal intimidation).

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