An 18-year-old cricketer has accused Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association's joint-secretary Alpesh Shah of sexually harassing her. In a letter to Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association (MPCA) president Jyotiraditya Scindia, she alleged that Shah had molested her in his chamber at the Madhavrao Scindia Block in Indore on September 23. Late on Thursday, an FIR was registered under IPC section 354 (assault or criminal force against a woman with the intent to outrage her modesty) against him.
The MPCA, which on Thursday formed a four-member committee including its chairman Dr M P Bharghava and former BCCI secretary Sanjay Jagdale, has modified the composition of the panel. On Friday, the MPCA has constituted a five-member panel of which three are women. As per Supreme Court guidelines, the committee should be headed by a woman and not less than half of its members should be women. The MPCA panel will now have an ex-women judge, a former women cricketer and a lady lawyer.
In her letter, she says that Shah invited her to his cabin and when she tried to touch his feet to seek blessings, she was molested. The girl ran away from the cabin and complained to her father, who works for the MPCA. The girl's father immediately called up MPCA chairman Dr M K Bharghava to complain against Shah who threatened to ruin the girl's cricket career, the letter alleges.
The girl's father says that Shah offered an apology the same evening. The girl has demanded strict action against Shah, who has resigned from his position. On Thursday, Shah said he was innocent and the incident was a case of "misunderstanding."
The MPCA had initially tried to hush up the matter but was forced to form a four-member committee on Thursday. This committee had recorded Shah's statement. But everything is likely to start afresh after the girl has filed an FIR.