Australian IPL player held over molestation charge
PTI NEW DELHI ALREADY mired in controversies, the IPL was on Friday rocked by a fresh scandal when Royal Challengers Bangalore player Luke Pomersbach was arrested for allegedly molesting an American woman and severely beating up her fiance.
The 27-year-old Pomersbach’s conduct prompted RCB owner Vijay Mallya to suspend the batsman, who has not played a single IPL match so far this season, till the time he is cleared of the charges.
The Australian player allegedly misbehaved with the woman, a US citizen, at a fivestar hotel in New Delhi early Friday morning and has been arrested, the police said.
A case has been registered against him under various sections of IPC including section 354 of IPC (outraging modesty of woman), 323 (hurt), 454 (house trespass) and 511 (Punishment for attempting to commit offences punishable with imprisonment for life or other imprisonment).
The victim claimed that the player invited himself for some drinks with the couple and some common friends from Mumbai in their room.
She left the men alone and went to her bedroom for catching some sleep but Luke followed her and misbehaved with her, she alleged.
When her fiance intervened, Luke allegedly beat him up, she said. The woman’s fiance has been admitted to a hospital where a CT scan has been done, doctors attending to him said. The woman claimed that pressure is being mounted on her to withdraw the case but she will not do so.
Later the American woman on Friday told a Delhi court that she was being threatened “apparently” by a foreign coach associated with the Royal Challengers Banglore team in the IPL. The woman appeared in the court and told metropolitan magistrate Navita Kumari Bagha that she was being pressured to take back the molestation case against Pomersbach.
“They threatened me threefour hours ago. When I went back to the hotel to take my belongings, I was given threats apparently by the coach of the team. He introduced himself as the coach of the team.
“Pressure is being mounted on me to withdraw the case but I will not do so,” the woman said. Meanwhile, the Australian cricketer Pomersbach was granted interim bail for a day by a Delhi court. The woman, who was accompanied by two of her friends, broke down in the court room before commencement of the hearing and was seen being consoled by them.
During the proceedings, the woman narrated the whole incident to the court and also showed the photograph of her fiance Sahil, who was severely beaten up allegedly by the cricketer and is admitted in ICU in a hospital.
“He just tried to save me and that’s how he was hurt,” she said. To a court’s query, the woman said she had come to India to meet his fiance, who lives in Mumbai, two months ago and had come to Delhi to watch the IPL match.
There was drama during the 30-minute proceedings, when the 27-year-old batsman, playing for Royal Challengers, Bangalore, in the IPL, complained of uneasiness and fainted while the victim broke down when she narrated the incident.
Policemen took him outside the court room and gave him water after which he regained composure to come back to the court room made stuffy by the crowd of lawyers, journalists and onlookers.
Pomersbach, who has had a history of brawls and brush with police in his country, and accused of outraging the modesty of a woman in New Delhi on Thursday night after a postmatch party, was granted relief by metropolitan magistrate Navita Kumari Bagha till Saturday.
The Magistrate directed the Delhi Police to bring the CCTV footage from the hotel on Saturday along with the medical records showing the nature of injury caused to the woman’s fiance Sahil, who is admitted in ICU in a private hospital in New Delhi after being allegedly beaten by Pomersbach. “The accused is granted interim bail till tomorrow,” the magistrate said.
“Bring the CCTV footage of the hotel and the doctors opinion about the nature of the injuries sustained by him (the woman’s fiancee Sahil),” the court said.
During the hearing, the court asked the Delhi police as to why they had not secured the CCTV footage of the hotel.
Delhi Police had sought that the court should sent the cricketer into judicial custody.
The woman narrated the sequence of the event saying that she was with her fiance and Pomersbach forcibly entered their room in the hotel to have drinks and molested her. “Sahil only told him ‘please leave the room’ and he (Pomersbach) turned and started assaulting him and punched him (Sahil) several times on his face,” she said.