Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday issued an order to the sports department to keep all stadiums open till 10 pm after news of IAS officer Sanjeev Khirwar taking his dog for a walk at Delhi’s Thyagaraj Stadium created a storm.
“News reports have brought to our notice that certain sports facilities are being closed early causing inconvenience to sportsmen who wish to play till late nite. CM @ArvindKejriwal has directed that all Delhi Govt sports facilities to stay open for sportsmen till 10pm (sic),” Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia tweeted.
People took to Twitter to express outrage after a report in Indian Express stated that for over a month, athletes and coaches at the Delhi government-run stadium have been complaining about being forced to wrap training earlier than usual, by 7 pm. The report added that the trouble was caused by Delhi’s Principal Secretary (Revenue) Sanjeev Khirwar who apparently takes his dog for a walk at the facility around 7:30 pm.
The Indian Express visited the stadium on three evenings over the past seven days and saw the stadium guards walking towards the track at around 6.30 pm, blowing whistles and ensuring that the arena was cleared by 7 pm. When the newspaper contacted Khirwar, he accepted that he “sometimes” takes his pet for a walk at the facility but denied that it disrupted the practice routine of athletes.
Sanjeev Khirwar Draws National Outrage
“Thank U Delhi’s Principal Secretary Sanjeev Khirwar for not owning a horse as pet. We owe you 1,” a Twitter user wrote. Many top personalities and politicians also reacted to the shocking revelations in the report.
“Ïf this is what goes on in Delhi imagine what it must be like in the districts where the DC & the SSP believe they are lords and master of all they survey,” Congress leader Manish Tewari wrote.
If this is what goes on in Delhi imagine what it must be like in the Districts where the DC & SSP believe they are lords and masters of all they survey.@DrJitendraSingh MOS Personnel must make an example out of this officer if this story is correct 👇🏾https://t.co/WPcz7Iq7fi
— Manish Tewari (@ManishTewari) May 26, 2022
“Wow! Stadium is emptied, athletes told to leave, so that Delhi govt’s Principal Secretary Revenue Sanjeev Khirwar can walk his dog! Certainly an appropriate Babu to serve the Aam Aadmi Party government! (sic),” activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan tweeted.
Francis Joseph, an entrepreneur and a TEDx speaker, demanded action by Union Minister Anurag Thakur.
— Francis Joseph (@Francis_Joseph) May 26, 2022
But Who is Sanjeev Khirwar?
Born on November 29, 1971, Sanjeev Khirwar is an IAS officer of the 1994 batch from the AGMUT cadre. He has earlier held important positions like Secretary Health and Family Welfare, Revenue, Finance and General Administration Department.
The senior IAS officer is a BTech in computer science and a MA in economics, the Ministry of Home Affairs website states. On completion of his training at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration in Mussoorie, Khirwar was posted as SDM Chandigarh during the early part of his tenure.
Over the past, almost two decades of his tenure in the civil services, Khirwar has served in important positions like Goa Excise and Finance Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner West Delhi.
He has also served as Additional Secretary in the Agri Marketing Board. Khirwar was given the charge of Commissioner Excise and Taxation Department Delhi Government 2006-07.
The IAS officer has also served as Secretary in Arunachal Pradesh and been posted as Secretary Andaman and Nicobar government. As part of his Central deputation, Khirwar was posted as private secretary to the Union Woman and Child Development minister.