Dog-walking IAS couple shifted out of Delhi

A view of the Thyagaraj Stadium, where the IAS couple had taken their dog for a walk, on Thursday.

A view of the Thyagaraj Stadium, where the IAS couple had taken their dog for a walk, on Thursday. | Photo Credit: PTI

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has transferred an IAS couple — Sanjeev Khirwar and Rinku Dugga — posted in the Capital for allegedly misusing the facilities at the Thyagaraj Stadium in south Delhi. While Mr. Khirwar has been transferred to the Union Territory of Ladakh, Ms. Dugga has been posted to Arunachal Pradesh.

The decision was prompted by a news report about the stadium being emptied at 7 p.m. every day for the IAS couple to walk their dog, which forced the athletes to finish their training early.

An MHA spokesperson said the Ministry sought a report from the Chief Secretary, Delhi, on the news report regarding the misuse of facilities at the stadium. “The Chief Secretary submitted a report later in the evening on the factual position to the MHA,” the spokesperson said, adding that necessary action will be initiated based on the report.

The Department of Personnel and Training, the cadre-controlling authority of IAS officers, had written to the MHA to initiate appropriate action as it manages the transfers and postings of officers belonging to the Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram and Union Territories (AGMUT) cadre. The couple belongs to the AGMUT cadre.

Mr. Khirwar was posted as Principal Secretary (Revenue) in Delhi government and Ms. Dugga was posted as Secretary, Land and Building, Delhi government.

Extended hours

Following the controversy, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Thursday announced that all Delhi government-run sports facilities will stay open for sportspersons till 10 p.m. 

“News reports have brought to our notice that certain sports facilities are being closed early causing inconvenience to sportsmen who wish to play till late night. CM Arvind Kejriwal has directed that all Delhi Govt sports facilities to stay open for sportsmen till 10 pm,” Mr. Sisodia said in a tweet.

Both Congress and BJP attacked the AAP government over the controversy. 

Delhi BJP president Adesh Gupta, in a letter to Lieutenant-Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena, demanded “strict action” against Mr. Khirwar, whom he described as an officer “close” to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

He said the “shameful” incident at the Thyagaraj Stadium had exposed the Delhi government’s “seriousness towards sports”. Stadia in Delhi, Mr. Gupta wrote, were in a bad shape but instead of improving their condition the Delhi government was “discouraging the athletes”.

“In Delhi, sports resources and facilities are being misused, which is why sports talent is on a downslide and the Chief Minister has no time from politicking. The use of stadia and sports equipment should be only for players and not for leaders or their officials,” Mr. Gupta said.

“If only a little care is given to sports, players will be able to bring honours not only to the country but also to Delhi. Because this incident came to light, Kejriwal has given orders for stadia to remain open till 10 p.m.,” he added.

Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president Anil Chaudhary hit out at Mr. Kejriwal saying “animals of his officials have become more important than players”.

“After renovating the bungalow, office in the desired manner, a new model car worth 35 lakhs, when the CM of AAM AADMI himself takes security of 64 police personnel, what do you expect from the officers? Is this a common man’s government?” he asked in a tweet. 

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Printable version | May 27, 2022 1:48:05 am |