Hockey India: ‘I was targeted because I am from minority community’, says Mushtaq Ahmed
Mushtaq Ahmed, who resigned as the President of Hockey India, has alleged that he was targeted and forced to resign from the post of President because he was from a minority community.
New Delhi: Mushtaq Ahmed has alleged on Tuesday that he was targeted for being from minority community and forced him to resign as the Chairman. He resigned as the President of Hockey India allegedly due to time constraints and objections from the Sports Ministry.
Mushtaq Ahmed resigned as the President of Hockey India on July 10, and Hockey India issued a statement saying that Mushtaq Ahmed has resigned citing personal and family reasons. However, exactly four days later, he questioned the sports ministry’s decision in a five-page letter to the Union Sports Ministry. In his letter to the Sports Ministry, he accused of being deliberately targeted and penalized because of his name, Muhammad Mushtaq Ahmed.
He said at the end of the letter, I would like to conclude the statement by saying that I was deliberately punished by the Sports Ministry because my name is Muhammad Mushtaq Ahmad and because I am from a minority community. He said that President Sudhanshu Mittal and Rajiv Mehta are in some other sports associations who were not removed. ‘From your point of view, just as I have violated the National Sports Code, these Presidents have also violated the Sports Code. I want to know why there is no equality in the observance of the National Sports Code and why I have been discriminated’, he added.
Ministry asked him to step down due to violation of the Sports Code?
It is noteworthy that the Union Sports Ministry had termed Mushtaq Ahmed’s resignation as a violation of the election of the President of Hockey India and asked him to step down, calling this election a violation of the guidelines for the duration of the National Sports Code. The Ministry of Sports had come to know that Mushtaq Ahmed had violated the term guidelines in the 2018 elections. It was only after these elections that he took over as the chairman.
In a letter to Hockey India general secretary Rajendra Singh on 6 July, the ministry said the matter was investigated and it was revealed that Mushtaq Ahmed was the treasurer of Hockey India from 2010 to 2014 and general secretary from 2014 to 2018. He got his third consecutive term as the President of Hockey India from 2018 to 2022.
The ministry had said that his election was not in line with government guidelines on age and duration for officials of national sports associations. Under the Sports Code, officials of the National Sports Federation can hold positions only twice. After the amendment, only three conditions were approved for president.
Mushtaq Ahmed said that Sudhanshu Mittal, Rajiv Mehta, and Anandishwar Pandey were given the freedom to run Kho Kho, fencing and handball sports respectively while they also violated the code of conduct of the game. He said that it seems that his name Mushtaq Ahmed has become an issue.
Mr. Mushtaq Ahmed alleged that the Sports Ministry has kept its eyes closed on the sports associations due to their close association with the officials of the Sports Ministry. He alleged that no action has been taken against the Kho, Kho and fencing federations despite complaints against them.