Despite the Sports Authority of India (SAI) taking a serious view of India's chief rifle coach Kanwar Randhir Singh's "off field activities" -an embezzlement case had been filed against him in a Shimla police station - the controversial coach continues to oversee that national preparatory camp
here at the Dr Karni Singh Ranges.
Though SAI had not cleared Randhir's name for the camp that commenced on February 13, the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) continues to push his case for inclusion in the team. Indian coaches apart, foreign rifle expert, Stanislav Lapidus, is also supervising the training of the country's top shooters, including Gagan Narang.
On January 23, HT had reported that an FIR had been filed against Randhir in connection with some missing rifles and embezzlement of funds meant for the development of the sport in Himachal Pradesh.
On Friday, SAI director-general, Gopal Krishna, expressed his concern over Randhir attending the camp, wondering why the NRAI hadn't replaced him.
"I have not cleared his (Randhir) name for the coaching panel," the SAI director-general said, adding that SAI had given its nod to three assistant coaches, Amitabha Chatterjee, DS Chandel and PK Acharya. He added that the chief coach (Randhir) would not be entitled to any financial benefits from the government."
Under the sports ministry's scheme of financial assistance to National Sports Federation (NSF), apart from boarding and lodging, the chief coach is entitled to a monthly remuneration of R50,000, while the assistant coach gets R30,000.
Baljit Singh Sethi, adviser, NRAI, conceded that SAI had raised objections to Randhir's inclusion, adding that the federation would continue to support him. Sethi added: "We would request SAI to reconsider the case. If they don't agree, we would consider replacing Randhir."