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Indian hockey player Varun Kumar accused of rape of minor, booked under POSCO act

Published at :February 6, 2024 at 7:03 PM
Modified at :February 12, 2024 at 7:14 PM
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Ajay Gandhar

They had met on Instagram and were in relationship for five years.

A 22-year-old woman has filed a complaint against Indian men’s hockey team player and Arjuna Awardee, Varun Kumar, alleging that he sexually exploited her when she was underage. The woman claimed that she met Varun on Instagram in 2018, when she just 17. They entered into relationship and during the course of that relationship of five years, the hockey player raped her on multiple occasions of the pretext of marriage, she has alleged.

Varun was training at the SAI centre in Bengaluru when they met, the woman informed the police. She alleged that the player persuaded her to meet him after they had connected on Instagram. She also said although she was reluctant initially, she agreed to meet him after some of his friends convinced her.

Varun, who has made over 140 appearances for India, has been booked under the POSCO act by the Bengaluru Police.

“A case was registered on Monday against the hockey player under the relevant section of the POCSO Act and sections 376 (rape) and 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) of the IPC, based on the woman’s complaint,” a senior officer of Bengaluru Police told PTI on Tuesday.

The woman has said that after they became friends and started a relationship, Varun took her to a hotel in the Jayanagar area of Bengaluru in July 2019 and had physical relation with her despite being aware that she was a minor at that time.

“She accused him of getting physical with her on several occasions over the five-year long relationship she shared with him on the pretext of marriage,” the FIR said according to the News Agency.

However, things changed after her father passed away last year. According to the woman, Varun stopped responding to her calls and messages and distanced himself from her.

She had then approached the police resulting in Varun resuming communication with her, but the player once again stopped contact when she pushed for marriage. The woman also alleged that he threatened to upload her photos on social media if she pressured him.

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Varun, who was part of India’s squad during their historic bronze medal run at Tokyo Olympics, is currently training with the team in Bhubaneswar for the upcoming FIH Pro League. India are scheduled to play Spain in their first match on February 10.

Having made his senior international debut in 2017, the player from Himachal Pradesh has been a constant feature in the team in recent years and also played a role in India’s gold medal win at the 2023 Asian Games in Hangzhou. He received the Arjuna award in 2021 and was recently appointed as a DSP in Punjab Police.

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