India ‘punishes’ news of bureaucratic couple over dog walking at stadium

The senior official and his wife moved to the other side of the country after reports said they had closed a stadium so they could walk their dogs.

The Indian government has ordered the transfer of a bureaucratic couple to the other side of the country after media reports said they forced a sports complex in the capital to close early to allow for dog walks.

India’s interior ministry on Thursday transferred senior Delhi state government official Sanjeev Kilwar to Ladakh, in Indian-administered Kashmir, while his wife, Delhi government secretary Rinku Duga, was sent to the far northeast of Afghanistan. Runachal Pradesh. , according to official orders.

The bureaucratic couple’s new positions are located on the eastern and western ends of the Himalayas, about 3,200 kilometers (2,000 miles) apart — a 65-hour drive, according to Google Maps.

In India, such transfers of officials usually follow allegations of misconduct against them and are seen as “punishment posts”.

The ministry’s order came after social media outrage sparked by a report in the Indian Express that athletes and coaches at Thyagraj Stadium in the Indian capital had to clean up by evening so Khirwar could walk his dog.

This Indian Express reports With a photo of Khirwar and Dugga walking their dogs on the stadium track.

The newspaper quoted Khirwar as saying he “sometimes” took his pets for walks around the stadium, but denied that it disrupted the athletes’ practice routines.

“I would never ask an athlete to leave the stadium that belongs to them,” he was quoted as saying by the newspaper. “Even if I go to visit, I will go after the stadium is supposed to be closed.”

Authorities have ordered all sports facilities in the city to remain open for athletes until 10pm, the deputy chief minister of Delhi said on Thursday.

The government spent billions of dollars on new facilities for the 2010 Commonwealth Games, which remain the largest sporting event hosted by India. The games also made headlines over corruption allegations against sports ministry officials.

Most game venues are still in operation – some are occasionally used for other events, such as political rallies or concerts – and the government spends a lot of money to maintain them.

The Indian Express report sparked a backlash from political leaders and social media users.

“What is this strange abuse of power, where athletes are forced to end their training early because government officials have to walk their dogs. Sad!”, Gaurav Pandhi, a member of the main opposition Congress party, tweeted.

Rumors on the internet were quick to point out that the couple’s new mission is both known for its natural beauty and offers ample opportunities for dog walking. Many also wondered where the dog was going.

“On the bright side – wherever the dog goes – Ladakh or Arunachal Pradesh – it will have plenty of room to move around…without having to close the stadium,” one tweet said.

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