The CLTA molestation case, which has been simmering since the last one year, is smudging the Indian tennis fraternity as the victim is yet to receive justice. A minor girl, who was a trainee at the Chandigarh Academy of Rural Tennis (CHART), run by the Chandigarh Lawn Tennis Association (CLTA), had been sexually harassed by five fellow trainee boys as alleged by her father in the case.
However, the case has been lingering since last one year and the father of the minor girl is still running from pillar to post to get justice and bring the perpetrators to book.
In a candid interview with Power Sportz, on the flagship show of the channel—Talking Turkey with Kanthi—the victim’s father talked about his ordeal and the nightmare the family has been subjected to from last one year.
Talking Turkey with Kanthi is a popular debate show aired by Power Sportz, the nation’s first digital sports channel. Helmed by the Editor-in-chief of the channel, Ms. Kanthi D Suresh, this weekly sports debate show has so far highlighted many key issues plaguing Indian sports.
Received no help from anyone, says victim’s father
On asked whether he has received any help from the AITA or the administration at the CLTA, the father of the 16-year-old girl denied getting any. In fact, he seemed too indignant at the callous behavior of those heading the CLTA. Rather than lending him a sympathetic ear, he alleged that “they are trying to shield the culprits.” Not only the CLTA, even AITA seemed slackened up in addressing this grave incident.
The show was also attended by the CEO of AITA, Bishwadeep Akhouri and he presented his side of the story.
“Is AITA even aware of what is happening in state sports federations?” asked Kanthi D Suresh. She pointed out that it is the sole responsibility of the AITA to look after the welfare of the tennis players in the country and make the environment safe for budding players.
However, Akhouri said that the AITA is not distancing itself from the incident and the apex tennis body will ensure that justice prevails. He declined to speak much about the case as it is sub judice and confirmed that law will take its course. If the boys are found guilty, they will be handed exemplary punishment, said Akhouri.
The plight of the father of the minor girl was palpable during his interview and his agony could be felt by viewers.
Age fraud in Tennis rampant
While talking to Power Sportz, the victim’s father also said that while dealing with the belligerent CLTA, another menace came to the fore. It was the ill of age-fraud, which is quite rampant in Indian tennis. One of the accused, who is also a junior Davis Cupper has fudged his age by four years. It came out during the investigation of the case.
The discussion panel also had a renowned sports psychologist, Dr. Jayanti Datta, who mentioned that such incidents can leave an indelible scare on the minds of minors and could change the course of their lives.
The victim’s father too agreed with her and revealed that his daughter has gone through enough in the last one year. She has even refused to pick up the racquet after the incident despite it was dream to pursue a career in tennis, the father said.
Power Sportz has always been vocal about such issues and has in the past raised issues on doping, match-fixing, Racism and gender issues plaguing Indian Sports.