NSCI member claims former club president slapped him, both sides file counter complaints
Member claims former club president slapped him; both parties have filed counter-complaints claiming they are the victim
The incident took place on Monday, a day after the NSCI elections
Slapping seems to be the sport of the month at the elite National Sports Club of India (NSCI). A member, Achal Agarwal, has alleged that he was struck on his face by the former club president, Jayantilal Shah, during the counting of NSCI election ballots on March 5. In the days since, the two members in question have gone on to slap complaints against each other, each claiming to be the victim in the ugly fiasco.
Agarwal has written to club secretary Rakesh Malhotra about the incident that took place as the ballots were being counted a day after the club elections. Many candidates and their supporters were present for the counting at Emperor Hall, he said, adding, "As was pre-decided between the contesting candidates and the election in-charge, manual counting of the votes was permitted by placing someone behind the computer data entry person. I was one of the many members who were supporting the contestants and was present to undertake the above exercise."
"During the initial minutes of the process, Shah came over to where I was seated and pulled me off the chair and continued to push me off the counting area. When I protested as to why he was getting physical with me, and reminding him that we both were equal members, he abused and threatened me. Thereafter, he slapped me across my face, which resulted in my spectacles falling off and breaking," he recalled.
Agarwal demanded that "strictest action be taken as laid down by the rules and regulations." He went on to state that in the past, "members have faced suspensions for the smallest of acts."
"If a member can be treated in this way, then what respect do we command at this club? I have filed a complaint at the Tardeo police station. At least 25 people have witnessed this incident," stated the angry complainant.
Another club member confirmed, "On the same day, a non-cognisable (NC) offence was filed against Shah at the Tardeo police station." Meanwhile, it appears that Shah has also submitted a counter-complaint. Secretary Malhotra stated that he has received two complaints, one from Agarwal and the other from Shah. Malhotra added, "I will soon be calling both parties to listen to their versions. I will also be talking to the election observer before taking a decision. Due process will be followed for action, and we will adhere to all rules and regulations."
'He started it'
Shah clarified that he had already issued a written apology, but insisted that he was not to blame. "Agarwal is not a candidate or council member, and he was sitting behind the person counting the votes. He kept touching the ballot paper, which he is not allowed to do. I warned him twice. The third time, he threw the paper. I asked him: 'Why did you throw it?' Then he abused me and pushed me, and at that moment my hand accidentally touched him," said Shah.
He added, "All of this has erupted now. Though I was abused, I gave an apology letter on the spot, as my hand had touched him. We even shook hands after this, signaling that the matter was closed, only to have this re-surface in this way. After the matter was settled, he has gone to the police station."
T C Krishnaswamy, the election observer in charge of overseeing the club polls, said, "I did not witness the incident, as I was busy elsewhere. It was only when I heard the commotion that went to the spot where the incident had taken place. Shah apologised and also gave me a letter to the same effect."
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