Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jan 21:
Odisha’s first ever Chess Grandmaster Debashis Das was not only denied entry to Kalinga Stadium here for practice, but was also manhandled by the security staff there yesterday.
Das, who is among the select few of the country to have achieved the rare feat of earning a Grandmaster title, is considered the pride of Odisha and has been specially permitted by the Sports Secretary Sashwat Mishra to train physically at the stadium.
“I had been to the stadium last forenoon to go on a jog. But the security staff at the gate didn’t allow me to enter. They didn’t listen to me even after I identified myself and spoke of the special permission I have from the Sports Secretary. Instead, he abused me and pushed me out of the stadium gate,” said Das.
“If the sportsmen of the state are not allowed to use the infrastructure, why are they being constructed?” questioned the ace chess player, who is deeply hurt and upset over the incident.
Das has also complained in writing to the Sports Secretary regarding the incident. Sports Director of the state Anant Kishore Jena has received the complaint in the absence of the secretary.
Many other reputed sportsmen have joined Das to condemn the incident.
“I can only comment on it after investigating the matter. The security staff will apologize to Das if found at fault,” said incharge of the stadium Barij Mohanty.
We were not able to reach the security staff of the stadium or the Sports Secretary Mishra for their comments.