Haryana announced that it now has a digital registry of all players who represent the state. The announcement came after an inquiry was ordered, on Thursday, into two kabaddi players, who allegedly presented themselves as Haryana residents to get the Rs 2 crore cash award from the state last year.
The Haryana Sports Ministry has ordered a vigilance probe against Manjeet Chillar and Rakesh Kumar. “It is unfortunate that players resort to such tactics to get cash awards,” said Anil Vij, state minister for Sports and Youth Affairs.
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“The Haryana Sports Ministry has got almost 90-95 per cent data of Haryana players. The rest will soon follow. Once completed, only players registered under the digital scheme and having represented Haryana at the national level will be eligible for such awards. Earlier, the district sports department used to screen applications but now this (the new system) will be base for all the applications,” said Vij, while talking to The Indian Express on Friday.
Manjeet and Rakesh had claimed the cash award in a function held at Panchkula on August 11 last year. The players had submitted their applications with Jhajjar District Sports Officer and had stated that they were residents of Haryana.
According to Vij, it was found that the players did not have the requisite documents to prove their claim and did not attend further meetings of the inquiry committee.
“The Indian kabaddi players Manjeet Chillar and Rakesh Kumar were given the award on the basis of their Haryana domicile in August last year. The same day I received a complaint alleging that they were actually residents of Delhi. We formed a five-member committee and ordered an inquiry. The players were also called and they attended the meeting once after which they failed to attend further meetings. The inquiry committee found that the players could not submit remaining documents to the committee after stating that they have Haryana domicile We have forwarded the matter to Haryana Vigilance department and have asked them to register a FIR if they need,” added Vij.
While Manjeet plays for Railways and also the Pune Paltans in the Pro Kabaddi league and was also part of the Indian kabaddi team which won the gold medal in 2010 Asian Games, Kumar was part of the Indian kabaddi team in 2014 Asian Games.
“Manjeet could not prove that he has stayed in Haryana for 15 years while Kumar had three different names of his mother-Tulasa Devui, Sheela Devi and Hem Kaur- in his educational records. He stated that he has his name in his brother’s ration card. Kumar is married and admitted that he lives in Delhi while the Central Government informed us that Chillar mentioned his permanent address of Delhi in the communication with them regarding Arjuna Award and other issues,” said Vij.
Meanwhile, the players pleaded their innocence and stated they applied under the policy prevalent in 2014-2015.
“All my ID proofs are of my village Jatwara near Bhadurgarh and we appllied through the District Sports Officer of Jhajjar district last year. I played for Haryana even in the Inter-University Championships from 2005-2008. My father Jai Prakash died four months prior to his retirement from Haryana Police in 2012 and the then Haryana government had offered me a job also. But we did not get NOC from Railways at that time. Many Indian players who belong to their respective states have to play in the tournaments from their employers, “ said 29-year-old Manjeet Chillar.
“In the Arjuna award form, I gave the address of my brother who lives in Delhi. The clause of representing Haryana for 1 years was added in 2015 while we won the medals in 2014 and 2010 Asian Games for India.” Rakesh Kumar could not be reached for comments.