Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on Friday said all pending complaints of sexual harassment at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) institutes will be disposed off in the next four weeks to ensure a zero-tolerance approach towards the menace.

Reacting to a report which claimed that 45 cases of sexual harassment were reported from 24 Sports Authority of India (SAI) institutes over the last 10 years in which little or no action was taken, the minister asserted that the body’s institutes are, in general, safe spaces.

“There is zero tolerance for sexual harassment on SAI campuses. The inquiries that are underway will be speeded up. I have directed that all pending cases will be disposed within the next four weeks,” Rijiju said in a statement.

“We will ensure that the already existing system of addressing sexual harassment cases and protecting our athletes, both boys and girls, is made more robust.

“Athletes spend their formative years at SAI centres and it is our foremost responsibility to give them safe environment to live and train,” he added.

SAIon Friday rejected criticism that sexual harassment complaints are not dealt with strictly at its institutes, asserting that a robust system is in place to tackle the menace but acknowledged that punishments should be harsher for those found guilty.