Ranchi stadium named after tainted lawyer Anand

Friday, February 18, 2011

RANCHI - Amid the profusion of heroes from Jharkhand after whom stadiums have been named for the National Games, one name is causing much consternation - that of tainted Delhi-based lawyer R.K. Anand.

A total of 13 stadiums were constructed for the games which began Feb 12. One is named R.K. Anand Lawn Bowl Greens, Namkum, Ranchi.

Anand is the Jharkhand Olympic Association (JOA) president, and the decision to name a stadium after him was taken by former chief minister Madhu Koda’s government. And many are questioning the decision now.

“This is very objectionable that a stadium has been after R.K. Anand. Anand is an outsider and a Delhi-based lawyer. His deeds are known to the world as he was barred by the Supreme Court from practicing as a lawyer,” Pradeep Sinha, spokesperson of Jharkhand BJP, told IANS.

“This is an insult to people of the state and local heroes after whom other stadiums have been named.”

According to informed sources, the construction work at the stadium named after Anand was awarded to a close associate of his. The stadium was constructed at a cost of Rs.2.35 crore on the outskirts of Ranchi.

The other stadiums have been named after freedom fighters or local heroes.

These include the Birsa Munda Athletics Stadium, Ranchi Ganpat Rai Indoor Stadium and Sidho Kanhu Velodrome Stadium.

The others include Albert Ekka Stadium, Birsa Munda Football Stadium and Sheikh Bhikhari Administrative Block.

Besides Albert Ekka, all the others laid down their lives fighting against British rule. Ekka was a Param Vir Chakra winner who died during the 1971 war against Pakistan.

“Stadiums are named after people after their death,” former chief minister and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) chief Shibu Soren said, taking a dig at Anand.

Anand expressed ignorance about the stadium.

An FIR was lodged against Anand and other officials of JOA by the Jharkhand vigilance bureau Oct 6 last year. Besides Anand, an FIR was also lodged against JOA general secretary S.M. Hasmi.

The charges include over Rs.11 crore being paid in advance to companies involved in the games preparation and the opening ceremony. The purchase of equipment at higher rates are other charges against JOA officebearers and others.

In 2009, the Supreme Court upheld the conviction of Anand in a BMW hit-and-run case.

The Delhi High Court had earlier stripped Anand of his senior advocate designation and barred him from attending to cases in any court in India for four months.

He was accused of collusion between the prosecution and the defence and attempting to influence the key witness in the case.

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