The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has refuted some critical allegations by entrepreneur Ranjit Bajaj, who owned I-League membership Minerva Punjab FC, in opposition to its common secretary Kushal Das on Monday. Bajaj alleged that Das had molested staff at office, a cost which was rejected by the nationwide physique and its prime official.
Bajaj, who bought off Minerva Punjab FC in 2020 after proudly owning it for seven years, mentioned there have been “two cases of molestation of employees at workplace” and the top of the committee which offers with sexual harassment complaints on the AIFF was “forced by president Praful Patel to bury the report”.
“…Kushal Das RESIGN Or I will be revealing details about you which have been buried by @praful_patel #METOO #metooindia enuf is enuf,” Bajaj tweeted.
“…two cases of molestation of his employees at the workplace …head of madatory (mandatory) sexual harassment complaint officer of AIFF & he was forced to bury the report by @praful_patel.” Later, talking to PTI, Bajaj mentioned,”I am not making any allegations against the federation. This is against an individual and he can go to court, make an affidavit. Let him come up with a denial, he must respond in his personal capacity instead of using the Aiff PR machinery.”
Das mentioned no such grievance has reached the AIFF committee within the final 10 years. “There is always a women’s cell in the AIFF to look into any kind of allegations like these and there are no such allegations in the last 10 years,” Das informed PTI.
“But let the women’s cell look into the allegations he has made and give a report before I say something and before the executive committee takes a decision.”
The AIFF, on its half, stood behind its prime official and mentioned it would take “appropriate legal action against the concerned individual”.
“All statements and allegations made are false and fabricated, and made without an iota of evidence in support of the same. Further, no such complaints and/or concerns were received by the Internal Complaints Committee constituted by the AIFF as per the PoSH Act, 2013,” the AIFF mentioned in a press release.
“The AIFF follows a strong ethical code of conduct within the organisation, ensuring the protection and well-being of all its staff members.
“The allegations made by Mr Bajaj are defamatory in nature, inflicting hurt not solely to Mr Das but additionally to all the footballing fraternity in India. In consideration of the identical, the AIFF has thought of it prudent to take applicable authorized motion in opposition to the involved particular person.” The AIFF said it will also refer the matter to the Executive Committee, and also to the AGM for appropriate action.
Jyotsna Gupta, the current head of the Internal Complaints Committee said she or her panel has not received any complaint against Das or any AIFF official.
“As head of the committee, I’ve not acquired any such report (of sexual harassment) in opposition to the final secretary or in opposition to any official of the AIFF,” Gupta said. “It was a shock to me that any individual would make such allegations in opposition to the GS. The office on the AIFF is protected and safe for ladies.”
Shantha Gopinath, who headed the committee before Gupta took over last year, said she had not received any complaints against Das.
Nandini Arora, Project Director, Local Organising Committee of the 2022 women’s FIFA U-17 World Cup, also said that the female staff of the LOC have not faced any issue while working with Das.
After selling off Minerva Punjab FC, which is now competing in the I-League as Roundglass Punjab FC, Bajaj is now running Minerva Academy Football Club in Mohali. He has a history of run-ins with the AIFF which had suspended him for one year in 2018 after being found ‘guilty’ of making racist remarks against a referee.
In 2019, the AIFF reprimanded Bajaj for his strong comments against the AIFF on social media.
Topics talked about on this article