'IAS couple shunted to distant places because...': Anurag Thakur slams Delhi govt over dog-walking row

Published on May 28, 2022 02:58 PM IST
Union sports minister Anurag Thakur referred to the IAS couple of Delhi who made the Delhi government's Thyagraj Stadium close so that they could walk their dog and said, “What could be more shameful and unfortunate than this?”
Union sports minister Anurag Thakur said the Union home ministry made their transfer to distant places to send a strong and clear message. 
Union sports minister Anurag Thakur said the Union home ministry made their transfer to distant places to send a strong and clear message. 
By | Written by Poulomi Ghosh

Union youth affairs and sports minister Anurag Singh Thakur on Saturday said the Centre took action against IAS officers Sanjeev Khirwar and Rinku Dugga who made the authorities of the Thyagraj Stadium vacate the stadium so that they could walk their dog. "Delhi government did nothing. The Centre intervened and transferred them to distant places. It's these athletes who win medals for the country. No one should interfere with it. Not my party, not any other party," the Union minister said in Pune as he inaugurated the Khashaba Jadhav Sports Complex at Savitribhai Phule Pune University. “What can be more unfortunate and more shameful that athletes are outside but the IAS officers are walking their dog?” the Union minister said without taking their names. 

The Union minister referred to the Delhi incident as he said sports grounds should not be idle; there should be one competition after another continuously. "Infrastructure is there, grounds are there, but some restrictions come in place."

“Delhi government did not take action against the IAS officers who were forcing athletes out of the stadium. The stadium was not opened for the athletes. But the Centre took action and made their transfers to distant places so that a clear message can be sent across that sports grounds are for the athletes,” Anurag Thakur said.

"I am again saying that these grounds are for sportspersons. If your faculty members want to play on this 27-acre ground, they can, but please don't go to the synthetic track wearing slippers for your walk," the minister added.

There should be some rules, the minister said. "If this indoor stadium is meant for badminton, then no shoes apart from the non-marking shoes will be allowed here," the minister warned. 

On Thursday, The Indian Express reported how Sanjeev Khirwar and Rinky Dugga were misusing their power by shutting the Thyagraj Stadium earlier than usual. The Delhi government immediately issued an order asking all stadiums to remain open till 10pm. On the same day, the Union home ministry issued a transfer order posting Sanjeev Khirwar to Ladakh and Rinku Dugga to Arunachal Pradesh. The transfer has, however, triggered another debate as to why the ministry chose these two places for punishment for these two errant officers. 

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