A new face of IHF (Indian Hockey Federation) came into view when a news channel carried out a sting operation, Operation CHAK DE, which showed the SECRETARY GENERAL of Indian Hockey Federation, K. Jothikumaran, accepting a bribe of Rs 2 lakhs and taking a promise of giving another Rs 3 lakhs to be given to his man in Delhi to include a player in the Indian National Team for the Azlan Shah Cup to be played in Ipoh, Malaysia, from May 24 to May 31.
The channel claimed that the bribe money was given in a five star hotel in Delhi in two installments on April 10 and 11. Jothikumaran is seen to be assuring that the player will be picked up for the senior hockey team for the Azlan Shah Cup. The channel also claimed that Jothi agreed to get the team’s permission to organize a tournament.
The channel said in a release that its Special Investigating Team found that the selection process in hockey was not “always fair, the current administration is highly corrupt and that IHF President K P S Gill is oblivious of the corrupt practices of his colleagues.”
The channel also showed the transcripts of a telephone conversation where Jothikumaran is heard assuring that he would try to get the player on the team and also to keep the matter confidential till the formal announcement is made on the team.
IHF President, Mr. Gill, sharply reacted to the matter saying Jothikumaran was no way involved in the selection process and it was surprising that he promised a place in the national team for the particular player.
“Jothikumaran talked to me over phone and informed me that he has resigned from the post of IHF and will not be associated with the Federation until his name is cleared from the alleged incident,” Gill later added.
The hockey world expectedly reacted in anger to the allegations with former captains Pargat Singh, Ashok Kumar and Dhanraj Pillay calling it the most shameful episode in the Indian hockey and seeking the resignation of both Gill and Jothikumaran.
In fact Dhanraj Pillay went on to claim that Jothikumaran had pushed Adam Sinclair in the 2004 Athens Olympic team using his clout. “I can tell you that this boy did not know how to hit the ball but Jothikumaran got him in and the then coach Gerard Rach tutored him thrice a day to teach him the basics.” He added.
Jothikumaran and Gill have been at the helm of the IHF since 1994 when they came together to win the elections. Since then, they are running the federation despite allegation of autocratic behavior, lack of transparency and financial misappropriation. But this is the first time someone claims to have a proof that Jothikumaran, a university-level player and formerly a clerk with the State Bank of India, accepted the bribes.
– (As read from Hindustan Times and seen on channels AAJ TAK and HEADLINES TODAY)