India

Haryana government is considering registration of akhadas

Naveen Bharat Editorial

CHANDIGARH: The Haryana government is contemplating to make rules to make mandatory registration of akhadas (wrestling academies) running across the state and to regulate them. 21-year-old Nisha Dahiya and her brother Sooraj were shot dead at a wrestling academy in Halalpur village of Sonipat district. Incidents of violence have taken place in these academies in the past as well.

There are about 2,650 akhadas in the state where about 15,000 aspiring wrestlers come for training. Most of these are not registered with the sports department of the state. In 2019, when the Sports Department gave mats to the akhadas, only about a hundred of them were registered. Now, state sports minister Sandeep Singh has indicated that licenses may be issued to such arenas that meet the prescribed criteria.

Sources said that once these arenas are registered with the sports department, they will be run as per the rules laid down by the government. The department is expected to constitute an expert panel to prepare a draft policy in this regard.

“Once the draft policy is approved by the government, these akhadas will be run as per the guidelines adopted. The department will not only look into the places where training will be given and make recommendations, but will also check the background and other details of those who want to run the arena including their contribution to the sport,” said an official.

Sources said that priority will be given to wrestlers of national and willful repute for opening the arena. He said that there should be separate staff and accommodation for women wrestlers. Installation of CCTV cameras will also be mandatory.

Wrestling academies are no strangers to controversies
Wrestling academies are often in dispute. Recently, 21-year-old wrestler Nisha Dahiya and her brother were shot dead at an academy in Sonepat. In February, five people were shot dead and two others, including a three-year-old child, were injured in a firing incident at a wrestling ground at Jat College, Rohtak. The wrestlers of these akhadas are also appointed as Bahubali by the politicians, especially during elections.

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