Seven women athletes have come forward with allegations of sexual abuse against Tamil Nadu coach P Nagarajan, 59. This comes a couple of months after a 19-year-old national-level athlete accused him of a similar offence.
According to a report by The Indian Express, all the women complainants were Nagarajan's students, who were trained under him.
After the first complaint was made against him, Nagarajan had allegedly attempted to take his own life by taking sleeping pills.
However, he survived after being admitted to a hospital and ever since has been facing charges under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
'Predatory Nature of the Accused'
Deputy Commissioner of Police S Maheshwaran confirmed to The Indian Express that seven additional complaints of similar nature have been registered against Nagarajan. The officer added that one of the alleged incidents dated back to 2005.
Meanwhile, H Jayalakshmi, DyCP, Special Wing for Crimes Against Women and Children, told the newspaper, “Each and every complaint has been revealing the predatory nature of the accused.”
Another victim, who was also trained under him, has alleged that the coach started to sexually abuse her at the age of 13 and it continued for about seven years, the report added.
“When I was in 8th grade, Nagarajan said he wanted to improve my long jump technique. He asked me to come an hour before everyone. So if everybody got there at 4 pm, I would reach at 3. He would say at around 4 o’clock to act as if I am just walking in. It sort of struck me like I am getting special training and that he doesn’t want others to know because they are going to be upset. I was still part of a team and I didn’t want to lose my friends over this. So that was the set-up,” she said, as quoted by The Indian Express.
Sexually Abused for 7 Years
Commenting on the 19-year-old who was the first one to register a complaint, Maheshwaran said, “She said she had been sexually abused while training under Nagarajan from 2013 to 2020. This athlete came forward to register a case with police.”
(With inputs from The Indian Express)