Hima Das' coach accused of sexual assault, claims innocence

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New Delhi:

India’s new sensation sprinter Hima Das’ coach Nipon Das has been accused of sexual abuse by another woman athlete who had trained under him in Guwahati. Das termed the charges as “false and fabricated”.

The local police had filed an FIR against Das over the complaint of the woman and interrogated him. The woman athlete filed the complaint on June 22.

According to the FIR, coach Das had sexually assaulted the young woman athlete in the middle of May. He, however, rubbished the allegation and claimed innocence.

He said that the woman made "false" charges as he could not get a place for her in the Assam team for the National Inter-State Athletics Championships which was held last month from June 26-29 in Guwahati.

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"This woman athlete who runs 100m and 200m trains under me and she was always after me to get her into the Assam team. I could not do that because there are other girls who are better than her. She was not included in the state team in National Inter-State Championships and that is why she filed the complaint on false and fabricated grounds," PTI quoted Das over the telephonic conversation.

"She could not produce any proof of her allegations. In the complaint, she said the incident happened on May 18 but she filed the complaint only on June 22. My assistant coach and some other athletes were also interrogated but all of them said they have not seen any such incident. It is all fabricated and false," he added.

Das said that the police investigation was going on and he was confident of coming out clean. The coach also said that he was willing to pay his price if found guilty.

"I have not been arrested by police so far. I had been taken to the police station once and I was interrogated, that is all. If I am guilty and have committed some offence I should be punished and I am ready for that but here I have not done anything wrong," he said.

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It was Das, who spotted Hima during an inter-district meet late in 2016 while working with the state Directorate of Sports and Youth Welfare. He asked her to shift to Guwahati, some 150 km from her village near Dhing in Nagaon district and convinced the youngster that she had a future in athletics.

Coach Das also had his share of the spotlight in Assam after sprinter Hima won a gold medal in the 400m race at the World Junior Championships in Finland earlier this month.

(With inputs from agencies)

 

 

 

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