HP vigilance dept to quiz cricket boss

Sports body built resort on village land

Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) president Anurag Thakur has been summoned next week by the state Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau for questioning over alleged irregularities in the association, an official said here on Wednesday.

“Thakur has been told to be in Vigilance Bureau’s office in Dharamsala on October 31,” said an investigating officer.

He said Thakur, who is a BJP MP from Hamirpur, was earlier sent a questionnaire, comprising eight inquiries.

“We got the reply from him, but we are not satisfied. Some of the questions pertained to registration of the sports body and purchase of land by it for constructing a residential complex for players,” he said.

The state Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau had filed a cheating and misappropriation case against the HPCA over alleged wrongdoings in allotment of land to the sports body for constructing a residential complex for players near its stadium in Dharamsala.

The disputed land, three km from the picturesque stadium, has been used by the HPCA to build a five-star residential complex called The Pavilion, which has 38 rooms, 32 huts and a hi-tech gym. The HPCA website calls it the “exotic residential resort”.

“The land allotted to HPCA was a common village land, which could not be given for any commercial activity,” said a revenue official, who did not wish to be named.

The land was allotted when the BJP government, headed by Prem Kumar Dhumal, was in power in the state. Thakur, who is Dhumal’s son, alleged that the case against HPCA is politically motivated.

Thakur is also a joint secretary in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Two IAS officers Deepak Sanan and R S Gupta were chargesheeted by the state government on July 26 for allegedly allowing the change in land-use for building the HPCA complex.

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