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Mushtaque Ahmad Alleges He was Ousted as Hockey India President Due to His Name and Religion

Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad (Photo Credit: Hockey India)

Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad (Photo Credit: Hockey India)

Ex-Hockey India president Mushtaque Ahmad alleged that Sports Ministry targetted him for belonging to a minority community.

Former Hockey India president Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad has alleged that his name and religion is one of the reasons why Sports Ministry told him to resign midway into his tenure.

Ahmad was appointed as Hockey India president on October 1, 2018 and Sports Ministry asked him to step down due to violation of National Sports Development Code 2011.

Ahmad has, however, alleged that the fact he comes from a minority community, he has got a different treatment.

"I would like to place on record my feeling that the ministry of youth affairs and sports' (MoYAS) belated decision smells of bad intention against me as the president of HI being from the minority community, while presidents with names such as Sudhanshu Mittal (kho-kho association), Rajeev Mehta (fencing) and Anandeshwar Panday (secretary general, handball) are being given a free run to continue in spite of their violation of the sports code in their federations respectively. This makes me feel that by having a name as Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad seems to be a problem," alleged Ahmad in a five-page letter to the Sports Ministry, a copy of which has been marked to Kiren Rijiju and secretary Ravi Mittal, Times of India reported.

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"I once again say that I have been deliberately penalised by your ministry because my name is Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad. I may be permitted to approach all the available forums, including the Prime Minister, if no satisfactory action/reply is received from the MoYAS," his letter stated.

Mushtaque Ahmad, on Friday, had stepped down as HI president citing personal commitments, but it came a day after Sports Ministry asked him to quit.

Ahmad was serving his third straight term in Hockey India, without undergoing the mandatory cooling-off period of four years, according to the ministry.

The sports code restricts the tenure of a treasurer and secretary general to two consecutive terms of four years followed by a cooling-off period of four years. Ahmad was the HI treasurer and secretary general for two consecutive terms after which he took over as president.

Sports Ministry, while asked Ahmad to step down, told HI conduct fresh elections before September 30 for the 2018-2022 term.

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Ahmad alleged that the sports code was not being followed uniformly by all National Sports Federations (NSFs) while he was the one targetted.

""In the background, I would like to draw your attention to the ministry's letter dated 04.09.2018 issued before the election of HI held on 01.10.2018, clarifying that the proposed election would be second after the elections held on 13.10.2014. Had the MoYAS given me the correct picture, the embarrassment caused to me for 15 months and now at this stage of my age and, after serving the sports sector for so long without even a single charge, the exit in such a way is very painful when I have not committed any mistake. Why did the MoYAS play this dirty game with me?

"Further, the HI had immediately responded to MoYAS' letter dated 13.02.2019 vide HI's letter dated 23.02.2019. However, MoYAS took 15 months to take a decision in the matter and asked the HI to advise me to demit the post of president.

"I would like to have an answer from the MoYAS on the question when the HI submitted a response to MoYAS' letter vide HI's letter dated 23.02.2019, why the ministry waited for 15 months to take a decision in the matter? Further, I may be apprised of the relevant provision of the sports code, under which my tenure for the unrecognised period, i.e., 2010-2014 has been taken as my first tenure as the office-bearer," he questioned.

HI Executive Board named Manipur's Gyanendro Nigombam, who was senior vice president in the federation, as the officiating president in Ahmad's place.

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