Soon after photos and news of the incident, first reported by TOI on September 18, spread like wildfire, the UP government prohibit sports office staff of Saharanpur, Animesh Saxena, and ordered an investigation against him. The contractor, who was tasked with cooking food and serving the players, was blacklisted.
The incident drew harsh condemnation from several politicians, including BJP MP Pilibhit Varun Gandhi and the Delhi prime minister. Arvind Kejriwal among many others. Union sports minister Anurag Thakur said he had directed “stern action” in the matter.
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Varun Gandhi tweeted, “Is the success of Indian sports leagues in defiance of the system and not due to it? This continued disrespect is a great shame for our nation. ”
Delhi CM Kejriwal said, “If this is how we treat our sports, how will India win Olympic gold? How does India become No. 1 in sports?”
Viral video shows athletes taking part in competition with underdog girls’ kabaddi tournament at Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar Stadium in Saharanpur while being served rice from a plate on the toilet floor. The sports department hosted the tournament at the stadium from September 16 to 18. More than 200 players from 17 teams across 16 state divisions competed.
Additional (sports) chief of staff Navneet Sehgal said, “The investigation into this matter has been entrusted to the Saharanpur district judge.
He added, “Any type of laxity in the provision of facilities to players will not be tolerated. Directives have been issued to all county sports officials regarding this matter.”
UP’s deputy director of athletics, RP Singh, has been nominated as the investigating officer for the disciplinary proceedings brought against the suspended sports officer Saxena. Singh was instructed to complete the investigation within a month and submit a report.
Meanwhile, DM Akhilesh Singh said that the district sports official “did not notify” the authorities about the state tournament.