Uttarakhand cricket coach granted bail in POCSO case

Narendra Shah, cricket coach and a recent office bearer CAU, was granted bail after he was arrested on sexual harassment charges under The POCSO Act

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Narendra Shah, cricket coach and a former office bearer of the Cricket Association of Uttarakhand (CAU), was granted bail on personal bond on Saturday (April 8) after he was arrested on sexual harassement charges under The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. He was accused of sexually harassing three women's cricketers including a minor. 

On March 29, according to a report by Indian Express, Shah was booked under POCSO as well as section 3 of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. He was booked after the minor girl's father registered a complaint accusing the 65-year-old of molesting his daughter - who was trainig under Shah - on mutiple occassions, sexually harrassing her over phone, demanding sexual favours for three CAU office-bearers including him. In the complaint, Shah is also accused of making casteist remarks and threatening to end her cricketing career if she revealed these advances to anyone.

Shah, who was suspended from being co-convenor of women's cricket in CAU after the incident came to light, was arrested by the officials on Friday (April 7) after he was dischargers from AIIMS-Rishikesh where he was undergoing treatment after he allegedly tried to end his life by suicide on March 24 according to the report by the PTI.

According to the comlaint by the father, Shah, who runs a training academy in Dehradun where the three girls trained with others, his daughter recorded the call when he called her on the phone on March 13 after she came to her room after cricket practice at the academy and tried talking obscenely. Father also alleged that Shah used obscene remarks about caste saying she doesn't deserve to play with upper caster players.

“The action (of suspending Shah) was taken after we took suo motu cognizance as the matter is very serious. However, we would like to add that the matter should have been brought to us first as we have a dedicated grievances cell that deals with such issues,” said Malla, claiming that the names of other office bearers have also come forward as part of an alleged conspiracy, and though there is clear evidence against Shah, there is nothing concrete so far to suggest anyone else from the CAU was involved in such activities," Vijay Pratap Malla, a CAU spokesperson, was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.

The report also added that Usha Negi, former chairperson of Uttarakhand state commission for the protection of child rights, said three more girls who were part of the academy approached her with complaints against Shah and she met Dehradun SSP with their complaint.

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