After reports surfaced that athletes at Delhi’s Thyagraj Stadium were forced to cut short their practice because an IAS officer sought to walk his dog there, the Arvind Kejriwal-led Government on Thursday ordered all stadiums to remain open for players till 10 pm.
The order came after reports of Delhi Revenue Secretary Sanjeev Khirwar using the Thyagraj Stadium to walk his dog surfaced. Athletes were allegedly asked to wind up early to facilitate the walk. Delhi BJP demanded an action against Khirwar.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the Government is issuing instructions to all sports facilities to stay open for sportspersons till 10 pm.
“It has come to my notice that sportspersons are facing problems because of the heat and the stadiums get closed by 6 or 7 pm. We are issuing instructions that all sports facilities should remain open till 10 pm so that the sportsperson can use them,” Kejriwal told reporters.
On Thursday evening Khirwar, a 1994 batch IAS officer, was transferred to Ladakh. His wife Rinku Dugga, a 1994 batch IAS officer, has been transferred to Arunachal Pradesh. Sources said that the Centre has taken his conduct at Thyagraj Stadium seriously.
Earlier, Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia on Thursday tweeted that the Chief Minister has extended the timings of all stadiums in Delhi till 10 pm.
“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.
Kejriwal has directed that all Delhi Government sports facilities to stay open for sportsmen till 10pm,” Sisodia tweeted.
Meanwhile, stadium administrator Anil Chaudhury denied the allegations and said official timings were being adhered to.
Terming it shameful, Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affair Kaushal Kishore said, “It’s shameful that sportspersons have to empty the stadium (Delhi’s Thyagraj Stadium Complex) premises because an IAS officer wants to walk with his dog. The officer should apologise. This is a misuse of his authority”.
Earlier the Delhi BJP had demanded action against Khirwar for forcing the players to vacate the stadium. The service department comes under the Lieutenant Governor.
Noted activist and lawyer Prashant Bhushan wrote, “Wow! Stadium is emptied, athletes told to leave, so that Delhi Govt’s Principal Secretary Revenue Khirwar can walk his dog! Certainly an appropriate babu to serve the Aam Aadmi Party Government.”