FOR 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist and Arjuna awardee boxer Manoj Kumar, it has been a wait of over seven years for his appointment as Haryana deputy superintendent of police. While the Haryana government has appointed 16 players of the state as DSP, Manoj had to wait. So, the Kaithal resident petitioned the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking his appointment as DSP earlier this week. Two weeks after the High Court questioned the Haryana government’s policy of inducting sportspersons in the police, the HC issued notice to the Haryana government on Friday, regarding the appointment of Manoj as DSP.
“As a player, my task is to compete for India and win medals. But, such treatment makes us feel guilty about our achievements. The other CWG medallists have been appointed DSP and there is no uniform policy on this. We approached the BJP government several times during the last three years and decided to file a petition in the High Court to end the wait for us,” said Manoj, who has reached the Grand Prix Usti Nad Labem Boxing Tournament final in Czech Republic that would be held on Saturday.
Manoj’s elder brother and coach Rajesh Kumar first approached the Kaithal administration about the former’s appointment in May 2012 before submitting an application to the Chief Minister Window on September 17, 2015. In 2014, Manoj had to fight a legal battle after his name was not included in the list of Arjuna Awardees and later the Delhi High Court directed the sports ministry to grant him the award. Earlier this week, Manoj filed a civil petition through advocate Anurag Goyal in the HC on July 26. The HC has sought a reply from the state government and the next hearing in the case will be on August 29. Out of the 16 DSPs appointed by Haryana Police under sports quota, four sportspersons have only passed 10+2 and Kumar also stated this in his petition. “Even the persons, who were not even entitled to the post of DSP, have been given appointment by the government of Haryana without any justification and a person, who is entitled to the same as per the policy, is being denied for no reason at all,” said Manoj in the writ petition.
Last October, wrestler Geeta Phogat was appointed DSP after she moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court in March. Phogat had also won the gold in 2010 CWG and it was after the HC issued orders was she appointed DSP. “If players like Geeta and Manoj have to fight for the injustice done to them, other players can also face such problems. Either there should be no policy or if there is one, all the medallists should be treated on a par. We had also approached the PMO in 2015 and they asked the Kaithal administration to look into it. Manoj’s gold medal is no less than any other gold won in the 2010 CWG and should be treated on a par with that of other players,” said Rajesh, whose father Sher Singh is a veteran of the 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pak wars.
An HC bench on July 12 in a similar case concerning a kabaddi player, who had filed a contempt petition against the Haryana government, observed that there was no mention of the educational qualification in the policy for appointment under various posts of sports quota and asked the authorities to submit an affidavit on the terms and conditions of the policy. “Learned counsel for the petitioner has also brought to the notice of this court that some candidates, who are only 10+2, have been appointed against Group-A posts like deputy superintendent of police whereas others are being appointed against Group-C like clerk and gram sachiv,” said Justice Daya Chaudhary in the interim order.
Meanwhile, state Sports Minister Anil Vij could not be contacted.