The former Haryana Director General of Police SPS Rathore, who was convicted of molesting a minor in 1990, was among the dignitaries at a Republic Day event in Panchkula, the Hindustan Times reported. On Friday, Rathore was seen sitting in the front row at the event and left soon after the flag-hoisting ceremony, the report said.

Rathore, who was the president of the Haryana Lawn Tennis Association, molested the 12-year-old girl, an aspiring tennis player, at the Association’s office in Panchkula in August 1990.

When she spoke out about it, she was expelled from her school for “indiscipline”. Her family had also accused the Haryana Police of harassing them on Rathore’s orders. In December 1993, the girl committed suicide by consuming poison.

In 2010, a sessions court convicted Rathore of molesting the girl and sentenced him to 18 months in jail. In 2016, the Supreme Court upheld the conviction but reduced his sentence from 18 months to time already spent in jail.

The girl’s friend, who was with her when she was attacked in 1990 and testified against Rathore during the trial, called his presence at the function a “disgrace” to the Tricolour.

“It is shameless on the part of the local administration,” the friend told the Hindustan Times. “By endorsing such criminals, who have been convicted by the Supreme Court, the administration is directly encouraging such crimes.”

She said the administration owes an explanation, ANI reported. “No girl can feel secure with such behaviour of the administration,” she said.

There was no response from the organisers of the function or the Additional Deputy Commissioner Mukul Kumar, according to the Hindustan Times.