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Indian masseur suspended for alleged sex assault, to appear in court

Written by: Staff
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Melbourne, Mar 14 (UNI) A masseur, who disgraced the Indian contingent by allegedly sexually assaulting a teenager at the Commonwealth Games Village, has been suspended today and will appear in the magistrate's court here tomorrow.

Taking a firm and decisive action, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has removed him from the Games Village and his accreditation card has been handed over to the Commonwealth Games Federation pending the judicial decision.

''Further action will be taken after due process has taken its course'', said a visibly angry chef-de-mission H J Dora.

Australian police today said the 35-year-old man has been charged with one count of indecent assault and one count of unlawful assault.

''The man is a masseur with the Indian team and he was interviewed and charged today,'' a police spokeswoman said.

The accused was released on bail and he will appear at Melbourne Magistrate's Court tomorrow, she said.

The allegation of sexual assault by the masseur a day before the start of the competitions has sent shock waves through the Games Village and the big Indian contingent, which hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

The huge Indian contingent awoke to a stormy morning as their country was being dragged into disrepute with local police launching an investigation following allegations that a 16-year-old cleaner was assaulted last night as she tried to clean the room of the Indian official.

The girl complained that the man attempted to hug, kiss and fondle her. A special Games Village-based police criminal investigation unit has been called in to investigate.

The Indians were shell-shocked to hear about this incident and went into damage control mode.

Mr Dora said that he was advised by the police not to provide name to the media for the present.

He, however, added ''This incident is now the subject of an investigation by the relevant authorities and we are taking this matter very seriously.'' ''If the allegations are proved, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) will take the strongest possible action.'' and added ''We extend our utmost cooperation with the Australian authorities in this matter.'' But even as the Victorian Police are investigating the allegations of the masseur having assaulted the teenager in the Parkville Games village, there is a debate on who actually cleared him to accompany the Indian team.

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