Even as India played a great match on Sunday to demolishe a hapless Pakistan 7-1 to register its third consecutive victory and seal a place in the quarterfinals of the Hockey
World League, the joy of their victory was marredas former captain Sardar Singh
was picked up by the Yorkshire Police for questioning. This was in connection to a case filed last year in which Singh had been accused of rape and assault on Monday by a British-Indian hockey
What is this case?
In 2016, Singh had been accused by British-Indian hockey
player Ashpal Bhogal, who insisted she was Singh's ex-fiance, of rape and assault both in India and the UK. The complaint had been filed with the Ludhiana police commissioner, who set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to investigate the case.
The Indian-origin woman, a former Under-19 England player, claimed to have been in a relationship with Sing for four years and alleged he tortured her “mentally, physically and emotionally”, even forced her to undergo an abortion last year.
The woman claimed they got engaged in 2014 with the assent of both families, but Singh refused to marry her, according to a report in The Hindu
“We have been in a relationship for four years since the London Olympics. He proposed to me during the 2014 World Cup and an engagement followed in India,” she said before returning to England.
said, "I know her but there was no such thing (engagement) between us."
According to a Firspost
report, "Sardar and Ashpal were quite a pair during the 2012 London Olympics."
In 2015, Ashpal went public about her relationship with Singh and announced they were getting maried.
Here is what she tweeted in 2015:
had also published a story confirming this development on August 7, 2015.
The report said, "India men's hockey
team captain Sardar Singh
is set to marry long-time girlfriend Ashpal Kaur Bhogal"
Ashpal Bhogal got support from DCW
Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief Swati Maliwal said, "The woman has alleged that she was physically assaulted by Singh and that there was an attempt to push her from the top floor of a five-star hotel in Delhi and that she was raped by Singh therein. We have recommended registration of an FIR against Singh to SHO Chanakyapuri police station (in Delhi)."
Pressure tactics to harass Sardar mentally?
With the Indian team in London for the tournament, the team management, it is believed, is quite upset about the fact that Sardar was called for questioning in the middle of the competition without any prior information.
According to The Hindu, a member from the team management said, "The team is in London, he has been called to Leeds for questioning. We do not even know whether it is a new case or the same old one. If it was the old one, it makes no sense for the police to wait for more than 10 days since we came here."
The FIH president Narinder Batra also expressed his dismay by putting a post on Facebook, questioning the timing of the summons.
“England is a country which is a safe heaven for all fraudsters who have run away from India and agree to invest in England. I would love to see the reaction of England and world media if in India the England players are called to police stations. Request the Indian media to get the Ministry of External Affairs and Indian High Commission in UK involved, wrote Batra in the now deleted Facebook post.
In fact, officials claim that it is nothing more than pressure tactics to harass Sardar mentally before an important game.
India will play their last and toughest pool match on Tuesday, against the Netherlands.
Tweeple also expressed their concern over Sardar's summons.