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Chennai: Sports academy coach arrested for sexual harassment

May 29, 2021

In what has triggered a movement on the lines of #MeToo, another incident of sexual harassment by an instructor and arrest has been made in Chennai. P Nagarajan, a sports coach of the St. Joseph’s Prime Sports Academy has been arrested for sexually harassing sports aspirants.

This arrest comes less than a week after the social media was flooded with messages about sexual abuse by a teacher, Rajagopalan from the PSBB school. 

The arrest was made after one of the students complained that he made inappropriate advances on the pretext of giving physiotherapy. The complaint was lodged at the Flower Bazaar All Women Police station. Following the complaint, it has been reported that the 59-year-old accused attempted suicide by consuming sleeping pills.

The incident came to light after an international medal winner athlete filed a complaint on Friday on groups of sexual abuse, improper behavior and misconduct. The accusations against him include misconduct, asking students to stay back after the usual training hours and behave inappropriately with them.

Allegations are that Nagarajan took advantage of girls from the poor economic status and that even when the academy was informed about this, they had forced one of the athletes who wished to file a complaint to quit the academy.

One of the complaints on social media read, “Nagarajan had gained my father’s complete trust and developed this bulletproof saintly do-gooder persona in the track and field community. So many athletes from rural areas and poor economic backgrounds throng to the academy. He promised them a free college seat and a chance at landing a government job or one with a bank. As I became more and more aware of the abuse, I began to resist and revolt against his advances. If I did not let him massage me, he would not give me the workout for that day saying “Nee yenna venaalu training panniko. Ukkanudaan naan teevai illeye (You do as you please. You do not need me anyways),”

Complaints also indicated the involvement of other trainers, coaches who did not have a successful career working hand in glove with Nagarajan.

St Joseph’s Sports Academy has now been functioning under the St Joseph’s Engineering College. In a statement, the college said that if Nagarajan is found guilty, they would stop sponsoring the academy.

Sources: Facebook thread, Deccan Chronicle 

Also read: After PSBB, Maharshi Vidya Mandir teacher accused of sexual abuse

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