Thyagraj Stadium controversy: Who is IAS officer Sanjeev Khirwar
The senior bureaucrat faces allegations that athletes were being forced to wrap up their training early so that he could bring his dog to the facility for evening walks.
A major controversy erupted on Thursday after a leading English daily reported that athletes and coaches at the Delhi government-run Thyagraj Stadium were being forced to end training before their stipulated time. Citing athletes, the report stated that the likely reason behind this was a senior IAS officer bringing his dog at the facility, each evening, for a walk.
As soon as the expose, reported by The Indian Express, went viral, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-led Delhi government swung into action, with chief minister Arvind Kejriwal issuing a directive that all sports facilities under its ambit will remain open for sportspersons till 10pm.
Meanwhile, the bureaucrat in question, Delhi’s principal secretary (revenue) Sanjeev Khirwar, told The Indian Express claims against him were ‘absolutely incorrect.’
So, who is Sanjeev Khirwar, the IAS officer at the centre of the controversy?
(1.) According to Moneycontrol, Khirwar is one of the senior-most bureaucrats of the Union territory’s government, with all district magistrates (DMs) and sub-district magistrates (SDMs) in the national capital reporting to him.
(2.) The 50-year-old is a 1994-batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the AGMUT (Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram and Union territories) cadre. In a career spanning 28 years, he has served in various important positions. This includes a stint, from October 2009 to August 2014, as a private secretary to the erstwhile Union woman and child welfare ministers.
(3.) Before his current posting, the he was the principal secretary (environment and forest) in the Delhi government. He held the additional charge of principal secretary (revenue)-cum-divisional commissioner in Delhi.
(4.) Khirwar has another connection with the city in that the metropolis is his hometown. He has a BTech in Computer Sciences as well as a Masters’ Degree in Economics.
(5.) His wife, Rinku Dhugga, is an IAS officer herself, and also from the 1994 batch of the AGMUT cadre. Dhugga, who is from Haryana, was spotted with her husband in the stadium by the newspaper.