|Sacha: Smear campaign against me |
By JULIEN NEAVES Tuesday, April 1 2014
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Business owner Sacha Singh, who has filed a police report that former Tourism Minister Chandresh Sharma assaulted her, stands next to her ex-boyfriend...
SACHA Singh, the woman whose assault allegations against Tourism Minister Chandresh Sharma resulted in his resignation yesterday, is claiming that a smear campaign has been launched against her by United National Congress (UNC) and supporters.
She made the claim yesterday during a media conference held at the offices of her businesses AMS Biotech Security Concepts Ltd, Affordable Window Wash Ltd AWWL and AmSure Trinidad and Tobago Ltd at Piarco Plaza, BWIA Boulevard.
The 30-year-old from Trincity and former Miss TT/India had reported to police that Sharma, her alleged then boyfriend, hit her and pushed her down at Grand Bazaar mall on March 12. Yesterday Sharma tendered his resignation and it was accepted by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar.
Yesterday at the media conference Singh said that on the UNC Facebook page and personal Facebook pages nude and semi-nude pictures were being posted.
“And I hope and I plead to our honourable Prime Minister, who is a female, to please kindly...help me help these people to stop posting my personal pictures. It is really defaming my character,” she said.
She noted the pictures were taken from her personal laptop by former staff and business partners three months after they were fired, and posted last June on a sex site. She recalled Sharma and his legal advisers and cyber police who assisted in having the site taken down about eight months ago.
She explained that they were taken a few years ago and sent to her boyfriend at the time, Cliff Paray, who was also present yesterday and spoke to the media. The pictures were sent to Paray in a WhatsApp conversation to keep their relationship “exciting” when he was out of the country for two months. She also did a professional photo shoot in April before she turned 30 and these were also being used in the smear campaign.
She said these posters were taking away the focus from her assault case.
“Is not because people have personal pictures out there, does that mean you can get beat up by anybody and get away with it,” she added.
“I am sure you all have wives, daughters, sisters, children, you all have female people in your life, and I’m just urging you all to stop using the pictures in this smear campaign against me to try to protect your party,” she said.
Singh stressed that it was not a fight between her and the People’s Partnership.
“It’s simply me standing up, taking a stance for every woman who don’t have the courage and the strength to stand up for themselves when being battered and abused,” she said.
“That was going too far for me,” she said.
Sharma in a release yesterday said he will privately clear his name. Diana Mahabir-Wyatt of the Coalition Against Domestic Violence commented on the alleged smear campaign saying that it is often the victim that gets blamed and we should stop trying to victimise the victims.
Tara Ramoutar, head of the Caribbean Association for Feminist Research and Action, said the smear campaign is “unnecessary and uncalled for” and we should not degrade any human being, but treat everyone equally with dignity and respect. She noted that domestic violence is a criminal offence and a serious problem in this country.