Police raid leaves karate officials red- faced

THE final day of the eighth Commonwealth Karate Championships in the Capital witnessed some unprecedented scenes as a few members of the organising committee ran away from the venue minutes before a joint team of Rajasthan and Delhi Police came to arrest them in connection with a case of forged documentation for establishing the national association.

Karate in India is a victim of political wrangling since two bodies - All India Karate- do Federation ( AIKF) and Karate Association of India — claim to be the one authorised to run the sport in the country. While AIFK is the oldest national karate body, registered in Mumbai, and affiliated to the Indian Olympic Association ( IOA), KAI is recognised by the sports ministry and the World Karate Federation.

AIKF’s Jaipur- based president Rameshwar Nirwan had filed an FIR six months ago against KAI president R. Thiagarajan, secretary general Bharat Sharma and former treasurer Altaf Alam. Nirwan alleged that the trio forged documents to get KAI recognised by the sports ministry and world body.

The matter went to a session court in Jaipur which framed charges against the trio last week. Soon, a three- member team of Jaipur Police was sent to the Capital to arrest them. The team, along with two cops from Delhi Police’s Mandir Marg station, went to the Talkatora Stadium, the venue of the championship, on Sunday morning.

"Thiagrajan, Sharma and Alam somehow got prior intimation of the raid and ran away from the spot. The police teams went to Sharma’s west Delhi residences in Harinagar and Janakpuri, but to no avail. The Police also dialed Sharma through his wife’s phone. He spoke for a while but switched off his phone when he realised it was police on the other side," Narender Mor, the AIKF secretary general, told M AIL T ODAY . "It’s a serious matter since not only did they forge papers, but also took funds from the ministry to organise tournaments.

On top of that, they registered the KAI as a federation in Delhi and conducted elections. The court has framed charges against them and we hope to win the legal battle soon," said Mor.