Published: 30th May 2023
Mumbai school coach gets 5 years RI for sexually harassing students
The Lagori coach was accused of sexually assaulting minor girls during training sessions and on a trip
A municipal school sports coach was sentenced to five years of rigorous imprisonment (RI) by a special POCSO (Protection of Children against Sexual Offences) court in Mumbai on Monday, May 29. He was accused of sexually assaulting minor girls during training sessions, and also when they had gone on a trip.
Special Judge SC Jadhav held the coach guilty under Section 10 (aggravated sexual assault) of the POCSO Act and relevant provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for molestation. Besides sentencing him to five years RI, the court also imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on the coach, as per a report by PTI.
The accused was a Lagori coach, a traditional sport that is primarily played between two teams, with a tower of flat stones or wooden blocks. As per the prosecution, the informant (one of the targeted girls) was a student of Class IX of a Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) school where the accused coached students of Classes VII to IX.
"The coach had selected 15 girls from the BMC school to play Lagori. He also used to call the girls for practice from 9 am to 12.30 pm on Sundays at Mumbai's Lalbaug area. The informant never attended the practice on Sunday as her parents did not allow her to take part in the sessions," the prosecution submitted.
"The coach also used to tell the girls that he would teach them sports like wrestling and kabaddi. In July 2016, while teaching wrestling, the coach touched one of the girls inappropriately. Later that year, the coach with 14 students from the school and two girls from his club went to Alibaug near Mumbai for a Lagori tournament. During their stay at a resort there, he touched the girls inappropriately on multiple occasions," added the prosecution.
"In one of the incidents, when the girls were playing in a water pool, the coach asked them to come out. Despite the girls being in their wet clothes, he told them to stand. He talked with the girls while staring at them and making them feel awkward," the court was told, as per PTI.
"Once it was raining while they were going to board a bus and the coach took the informant and another girl under his umbrella and put his hand on the shoulder of the informant and started rubbing it. The informant did not like his touch and she rushed to the bus. On the bus too, the coach touched the girls inappropriately. On their return, the informant narrated the incident to her parents and they approached the police," the prosecution said further.