Goel advises AFI to honour Kerala HC directive on Chitra

P.T. Usha

The Kerala High Court directed the central government to ensure participation of PU Chitra in the World Athletics Championships in London next month.

Expressing happiness at the turn of events, the athlete thanked all those who had come out in her support after her name was dropped from the squad, despite qualifying for the 1,500 m.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In view of the High Court order directing to include P U Chitra in the Indian team for the World Athletics Championship, Administrative Reforms Commission chairman V S Achuthanandan has written to Union Sports Minister Vijay Goyal seeking his urgent intervention to ensure justice for Chitra.

Hearing Chitras petition against the decision by the AFI, Justice Suresh Kumar had asked the Centre to inform the source of funding for worldwide events. "Now that the Kerala high court has pulled them up the Federation officials want to save face". The middle distance runner, however, said she will not give up.

The Indian Athletic Federation had shown "extreme injustice" to Chitra by not selecting her for the championships, he said.

The Odia girl got the wild card entry to the mega event since the necessary number of 56 athletes for women's 100m event could not be fulfilled for the World Championships, scheduled to be held in London from August 4 to 13. He said the court had found there were anomalies in the selection of participants to the world championships.The government was ready to send Chitra for training even to a foreign country and to provide a scholarship. "Opportunities of the instant nature would come in the way of an athlete only once in a life time and if they miss the chance, they may not get it again", the single-bench observed, further adding that Chitra "is an outstanding athlete". The criteria for selection to the world championship was itself questionable. "In addition, it is also seen that the statements made by the [AFI] president of the second respondent in the "open letter" were statements made without any bona fides", wrote the judge in the order passed Friday.

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