Three persons were arrested on Friday by the Uttar Pradesh Police for duping athletes with a false advertisement for the 2021 Khelo India Games. The UP Police took prompt action following a FIR lodged by the Sports Authority of India (SAI).
The matter came to light at the beginning of this week after SAI received complaints from several athletes who were misled by a fake Khelo India advertisement on social media. The post lured grassroots athletes into depositing Rs. 6,000 for enrollment into a Khelo India camp, which would fulfill their hopes of participating in the Games. With the advertisement having logos of the Sports Authority of India, Khelo India, as well as the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, not many doubted its authenticity.
After complaints started pouring in, SAI contacted the given phone number, posing as an aspirant. They tracked the bank account details and traced the culprit before taking the help of police.
Ex-kabaddi player involved in duping Khelo India Games aspirants
Subsequent investigation has unveiled Sanjay Pratap Singh, a former kabaddi player from Agra, as the mastermind behind this crime. Using the alias of Rudra Pratap Singh, Sanjay fleeced young athletes with the help of Anuj Kumar and Ravi.
The latter two used bank accounts in Canara Bank and State Bank branches in UP, where the swindled money would get deposited. The UP Police has now frozen both accounts, and the process of identifying the total number of athletes duped is under way.
Khelo India Games, which has successfully completed three seasons, is a government initiative aimed at identifying grassroots talent and building a strong future for Indian sports. Athletes are eligible by virtue of their performances at the school and university level, and there is no criterion to pay for admission. The government has set up talent hunt committees to get the top talents in the country to participate in the Khelo India Games.Published 06 Nov 2020, 18:40 IST