New Delhi, Apr 21 (UNI) Indian hockey touched the nadir tonight with its secretary K Jothikumaran being caught on camera accepting bribe for getting a player selected in the national team.
The sting operation clearly shows that after receiving a cash payment of Rs 2 lakh and a promise of another 3 lakh to be delivered to his man in Delhi, IHF general secretary Jothikumaran assured the SIT of getting a player picked up for the Indian senior hockey team to be selected for the Azlan Shah tournament next month. The bribery of Rs 2 lakh was given to Jothikumaran in a five star hotel in Delhi in two instalments on April 10 and 11.
The sting operation carried out by Headlines/Aaj Tak TV channel team had immediate impact with Jothikumaran resigning from his post.
The SIT (special investigations team comprising of Ashish Khetan, Dhirendra Pundir and Deepak Sharma) of 'Aaj Tak' channel took out an investigation to find out the reasons for the rot that had set in the game.
The camera duly catches that a few days after receiving the money, Jothikumaran tells the reporter that the player's name has already been included in the list of players for Azlan Shah Cup to be sent to the ministry this week. Jothikumaran assures him that as far he was concerned, the player was in and it was now just a matter of formalities.
Interestingly, the SIT did not know this player at all and just to make the entire investigation look real, used the name of this player as he was part of the recently held camp at Bangalore and was not included in the team for the upcoming Australian tour.
Jothikumaran, Who along with KPS gill as president, has been governing the hockey federation for the last 15 years during which the game was shamed several times but it made no impact on the officials as they refused to take responsibility.
The SIT approached IHF general secretary Jothikumaran as a business house who wanted to organise an international hockey tournament in India. Jothikumaran asked for Rs 5 lakh in the name of 'seed money' to facilitate the tournament.
Out of this he demanded 3 lakh in cash and 2 lakh in the name of a front company working for him in Delhi. He also told the reporter that he had to go through a sports management company called Leisure Sports Management for hosting this tournament. He said LSM would charge 15 per cent of the total budget for the tournament as commission. But he said that he would make LSM return half of their total commission through backdoor channels. He said he would take Rs 5 to 6 lakh. This money, he said, would have to be given to him in cash.
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