If Abhay Singh Chautala & Co thought that members would turn a blind eye to the way the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF) elections were conducted, they were wrong.
While some protested during the September 23 Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Patiala, John Kharshiing went a step ahead. A day after the AGM, the president of the Meghalaya Amateur Boxing Association fired a letter to the sports ministry, appealing to it to order IABF to conduct fresh elections. He also pointed out the irregularities during the AGM. Kharshiing marked a copy of the letter to Indian Olympic Association and the International Boxing Federation (AIBA).
Kharshiing is happy that his protest did not go in vain. “What a relief, given the pressure and stress that has been put on my decision to stand up and speak on behalf of all the silent friends and supporters in the boxing family,” Kharshiing told DNA after IABF was suspended by the sports ministry and AIBA.
Asit Banerjee (IABF vice-president), Rupak Debroy (general secretary, Tripura Amateur Boxing Association) and T Meren Paul (general secretary, Nagaland Amateur Boxing Association) too condemned how haphazardly the whole election process was conducted and didn’t accept the posts given to them due to lack of transparency.
DK Dinglow (secretary general, Arunachal Amateur Boxing Association), in a letter dated October 10, 2012, urged fellow associations to back a call for fresh elections. While the above mentioned people didn’t launch any formal complaint, Kharshiing did.
“The IABF elections were totally rigged, manipulated and similar to match-fixing. Most of us from the North-East were mute spectators. My conscience did not allow me to keep quite,” Kharshiing said when asked why he approached the sports ministry and the AIBA.
The points mentioned by Kharshiing and those listed by the sports ministry were almost similar as well.
“IABF has been suspended primarily on grounds that elections were flawed and faulty and the nomination time given was very less. When the nomination did not come in, people were just picked up from the house. We have given them 15 days time to confirm that they would hold a re-election,” sports minister Jitendra Singh had pointed out the reasons behind IABF’s suspension.