Mumbai: Sportsmen are said to be fighters. Proving this general belief completely wrong, Chunnilal Gupta (35), a Central Railway (CR) employee, allegedly forged dozens of certificates and collected numerous counterfeit medals, in order to gain entry into a training programme to become a coach, at the Netaji Subhash National Institute of Sports (NSNIS) in Patiala. An RTI investigation on the matter is underway.
On April 6, 2011 a close colleague of Gupta, who has requested anonymity, registered a complaint with the divisional sports officer, CR. A copy of this complaint has been obtained by MiD DAY. According to the complaint, Gupta submitted false certificates for gaining admission at NSNIS, forging all the documents necessary. This is proved by the fact that the handwriting in all the certificates is his own. According to the complaint, CR had recruited Gupta as a ticket collector. He soon realised, however, that it would take him inordinately long to climb the ladder of success, and decided to take the underhand route instead. He made up his mind to become a coach.
The first step was to obtain certificates, so CR would recommend him to NSNIS. This hurdle was easily overcome, forgery providing a simple solution. An RTI enquiry has revealed that Gupta not only forged documents, but also produced counterfeit medals that he had never won. So getting the railway authorities to recommend him, he managed to gain admission at NSNIS.
Gupta is now in the process of taking a nine-month-long course that trains boxing coaches at NSNIS. The course is due to be completed in July. "What Gupta failed to realise is that there are not many eminent boxers across the country, and when it comes to the boxing arena, everybody knows who is who," said a Central Railway boxer.
Gupta claimed that he had participated thrice at the All India Inter University Boxing Championship, being placed third in the competition in 1995 at Udaipur. But the RTI enquiry has revealed that Gupta participated only twice, without winning a single medal. Gupta claimed that he had participated in the Junior National Boxing Championship and had represented Maharashtra four times at the Senior National Boxing Championship, where he won a bronze medal in 1997.
He claimed that he also got a bronze medal in the Ambala National Boxing Championship, held in 1998. But when the facts were being verified, the Maharashtra Boxing Association said that Gupta had never represented the state at any national level boxing championship. The documents have been obtained by MiD DAY. Gupta also claimed that he had represented CR four times in the All India Inter Railway Boxing Championships and was even third runner-up in the year 2002.
But documents have exposed that Gupta never participated as boxer in any inter railway boxing competition. Eliza Nelson, a senior sports officer of CR, told MiD DAY, "I am aware of the complaints that have been lodged against Gupta. Come to my office with the complainant and I will talk to you."
About the accused
Gupta is a resident of Bhusawal. He was appointed as a ticket collector (TC) under the Bhusawal division sports quota in the year 1997. After obtaining the NSNIS certificate, he had planned to gain the appointment of coach at a reputed national institute. MiD DAY has obtained copies of the RTI reports, which clearly state that all of Gupta's documents were found to be forged.
The Other Side
Chunnilal Gupta, when asked to comment on the matter, made a counter allegation. He said, "I am aware of the allegations. The documents, which they have obtained through RTI, are not mine. The complainant has forged documents to frame me. He called me up and threatened that he would contrive situations that would make me lose my job. NIS officials selected me only after verifying my documents. I am being targeted because I am North Indian. I believe only in Shirdi Sai Baba. He will punish the complainant," said Gupta.