Khelo India Games fraud: Agra Cyber cell begins probe
AGRA [Maha Media]: The Agra police have begun investigating details of the scam involving sportspersons in the city, desirous of participating in the Khelo India Games, after the Sports Authority of India (SAI) registered an FIR against an alleged mastermind, from the city.
SSP Bablu Kumar has said the case is now being followed up by the cyber cell.
As per sources, a person from Bah tehsil had put up an advertisement on social media, inviting sportspersons to contact him to participate in the Games slated to be held Panchkula in 2021.
SAI had requested the Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police (DGP) and the Agra District Magistrate (DM) to lodge an FIR and take immediate action in the matter of a potentially huge fraud in the name of the Games.
The sports governing body came to know about the fraud when few young athletes from Kerala informed it about an "Agra-based man from Patna" seeking money to ensure participation in the Khelo India Games.
SAI in its letter to the DGP, dated November 4, said that a person is "extracting money" in the name of selection for Khelo India Games -- meant essentially for school students and extended to university students last year -- that carry attractive prize money, not just for athletes but also for their coaches.
"The Sports Authority of India has received several complaints from grassroot-level athletes from across the country that an advertisement has been posted on social media platforms inviting applications to participate in the Khelo India Games scheduled in Panchkula in Haryana in 2021," SAI had said in an earlier statement on Wednesday.
The advertisement also used "logos of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Sports Authority of India and Khelo India, which misled several athletes to believe it to be a government advertisement.
It is learnt that the accused asked aspiring athletes to contact them through a contact number provided on the advertisement in addition to sending out bogus forms for the athletes to fill. When contacted, the mother of an athlete who had filled one such form confirmed to IANS that they had been asked to pay Rs.6,000 in order to enrol for the camp.
Meanwhile, Haryana Sports Minister Sandeep Singh on Thursday made it clear no participation fee will be charged by the government from any player for the 2021 Khelo India Games. He further said if any person or company demands any kind of fee from the players in the name of Khelo India 2021, a complaint can be made to the sports department.
SAI has already clarified that athletes qualify for participating in Khelo India Games "based on their performances in School Games/University Games organised by SGFI/AIU".