Watch: Food served to UP kabaddi players in toilet; probe ordered

A purported video shows that food was served to kabaddi players in a toilet during a sports meet in Uttar Pradesh.

FP Sports September 20, 2022 12:23:35 IST
Watch: Food served to UP kabaddi players in toilet; probe ordered

Screenshot from the video that showed kabaddi players in UP taking food from a toilet.

In a shocking incident from Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur, players taking part in the girl’s under-17 state-level kabaddi tournament were served food in a toilet.

Some videos of the incident, which were reportedly shot on 16 September by some players, show the participants taking rice from vessels kept inside a toilet. Some leftover ‘pooris’ can also be seen on a piece of paper.

The UP state government has suspended Saharanpur Regional Sports Officer Animesh Saxena after the viral videos led to an outrage.

Saxena had claimed the food was of “good quality” and it was cooked near the stadium’s swimming pool, the Times of India reported.

“There was a space crunch and the food was cooked near the stadium pool,” he said.

“Food, including rice, ‘dal’ and ‘sabji’ were cooked in large vessels in a traditional brick oven near the swimming pool. From the vessel, cooked rice was taken out in a big plate and was placed on the toilet floor near its gate. Next to the rice the rice plate, were leftover ‘pooris’ on a piece of paper on the floor. The rice was then served to the players for lunch on Friday,” a player told the publication.

A probe has been ordered into the whole incident.

The suspension of Sports Officer Animesh was announced through a letter issued by the Sports Directorate.

“The Chief Secretary of Sports Department made aware through a letter that photos of food meant for kabaddi players participating in an event held in Saharanpur being found in a toilet have surfaced on social media, causing immense slander against the department and the government. It seems that regional officials and stakeholders’ defective operations led to this incident and the Chief Secretary instructed for strict action against Regional Sports Officer, Saharanpur, Animesh Saxena,” read the letter.

The letter added that Animesh was asked for a clarification behind this incident, but he could not provide an explanation for it. Hence, he was suspended as per the Uttar Pradesh Government Servant (Discipline and Appeal) Rule, 1999.

Following the incident, Additional District Magistrate Rajnish Kumar Mishra said, “I saw through social media that food was served to players in unhygienic conditions. In this matter, the District Magistrate has asked me to submit a report in three days. Whatever facts will come to light in my report, I will submit them to the DM.”

District Magistrate Akhilesh Singh further said, “There was a state-level tournament in Saharanpur, which received some negative reporting. The report about the incident is being made. Since it was a huge competition in which a lot of children participated and reports of improper arrangements have surfaced, the matter will be looked into seriously and action will be taken against the official at fault in a week.”

With ANI inputs

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