Some videos that show food being served to Uttar Pradesh kabaddi players in a toilet have gone viral on social media, leading to massive outrage.
The videos, which are now in wide circulation, were reportedly shot by some players on September 16 during an Under-17 state level kabaddi tournament for girls in Saharanpur.
The videos show students serving themselves rice and vegetable from different vessels placed near a row of urinals in a toilet. Next to the rice and vegetable vessels, there were leftover ‘pooris’ on a piece of paper.
In a one-minute video, the camera pans to show urinals and wash basins in the frame and then pans back to show the rice plate kept on the toilet floor near its gate. The players can be seen taking the food and heading out of the toilet.
A second video shows workers picking up utensils and bringing them outside near the swimming pool where the food is being cooked.
The state government has suspended Saharanpur Sports Officer Animesh Saxena following the controversy over the viral videos. Mr Saxena had claimed that the food was kept in the ‘changing room’ (toilet) because of “space crunch”.
“There were complaints of bad arrangements. The district sports officer has been suspended. I have ordered an enquiry and the concerned person will submit a report in three days. We will take appropriate action,” said Akhilesh Singh, District Magistrate, Saharanpur.
“Because it was raining, we made arrangements for food in the swimming pool area. The food was kept in the changing room next to the swimming pool. Some construction work is being done in the stadium and there was no other place to keep the food because of the rain” Animesh Saxena had said earlier.
Several political parties have attacked the BJP over the viral videos for disrespecting the kabaddi players.
“The BJP can spend crores on various campaigns, but does not have money to make proper arrangements for players,” the Congress tweeted in Hindi.
यूपी की कबड्डी खेलने वाली बेटियों को टॉयलेट में खाना परोसा गया।
झूठे प्रचार पर करोड़ों खर्च करने वाली BJP सरकार के पास हमारे खिलाड़ियों के लिए अच्छी व्यवस्था करने के पैसे नहीं हैं।
धिक्कार है! pic.twitter.com/UazJvCrWPB
— Congress (@INCIndia) September 20, 2022
Y Sathish Reddy, social media convener of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, tweeted, “Food served to kabaddi players in #UttarPradesh kept in toilet. Is this how #BJP respects the players? Shameful!
— YSR (@ysathishreddy) September 20, 2022
Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) president Jayant Chaudhary shared Mr Reddy’s tweet and called the incident “disrespectful”.
खिलाड़ियों का घोर अपमान है ये!
लगता है सत्ता भोगने वालों को सिर्फ़ अपनी सुविधा दिखती है, बाक़ी सब आत्मनिर्भर बनें! https://t.co/jgaBQ67fMN
— Jayant Singh (@jayantrld) September 20, 2022