AICF joint secy Lahiri writes to PM, alleges corruption against 'boss' Chauhan

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Kolkata, Jul 10 (PTI) In a fresh twist to their internal wrangling, All India Chess Federation joint-secretary Atanu Lahiri on Saturday sent a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi alleging 'data theft, corruption and misuse of funds' by secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan.

The move comes less than a month after the AICF secretary had come to Kolkata to give official recognition to 'Sara Bangla Daba Sangstha' as the apex body in Bengal, sidelining the Bengal Chess Association which is backed by International Master Lahiri.

SBDS is backed by city-based Grandmasters Dibyendu Barua, with whom Lahiri has been in loggerheads since 2019 when the veteran GM had levelled various charges including 'misappropriation of funds'.

In his five-page letter to the Prime Minister, Lahiri has alleged that Chauhan had signed a 'secret agreement' with Thought Roots India Private Ltd to share 'all the data and confidential information of the Federation'.

'By secretly agreeing to share all data, including the personal information of about 1,00,000 registered chess players and officials from India, to a commercial company engaged in the business of chess coaching, Bharat Singh Chauhan has misused his position as secretary of AICF,' he wrote.

'Moreover, he has compromised on the security of the personal information of the chess players, making them vulnerable to online hacking of banking information and even child abuse,' Lahiri claimed in his complaint that was supported by necessary documents.

Lahiri further claimed that Nurtr -- a sister company of Thought Roots India Private Ltd -- was given preferential treatment by Chauhan.

'The proximity of Nutr with Bharat Singh Chauhan can be clearly established since it has been given preferential treatment by Chauhan in all the events which are specially organised by him,' Lahiri wrote, citing examples of Nutr being the media in-charge in 2019 World Junior Chess Championship and Delhi International Open.

Lahiri, who had earlier been show-caused by the national federation for engaging in 'anti-AICF activitites', further alleged misuse of AICF funds to purchase fixed assets in the hometown of secretary Chauhan.

'On 18.05.2021, the secretary of AICF, Bharat Singh Chauhan, circulated the budget allocation of AICF for the year 2021-22 and earmarked Rs 3 crore for a permanent office of AICF in his home town in Delhi. Subsequently, he called an offline meeting during the pandemic to get the budget passed,' Lahiri wrote.

'On June 30, a statement on a blank paper signed by Chauhan, along with President Sanjay Kapoor and Treasurer Naresh Sharma, was mailed to all the members stating that the Federation is acquiring a property at 101 & 102, A Block, Navrang Bhavan, 21 KG Marg, New Delhi, for the office of AICF.

'There is no need to purchase a permanent office for AICF in Delhi or any other town by spending Rs 3 crore, especially when an office space could be rented from the bank interest of the said amount,' Lahiri wrote. PTI TAP ATK ATK

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