No evidence in coach offering 'namaz' in UP stadium: Police sources
Right-wing activists have been demanding registration of an FIR against a hockey coach, Abid Ali, who allegedly offered namaz in the stadium premises
The Pilibhit police have failed to find any truth in the charges levelled against a hockey coach that he had offered 'namaz' in a sports stadium.
A senior police official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that they have not found any evidence to lodge a case in the matter.
The official said that he had spoken to other players who were present in the stadium on the day of the incident but none of them verified the charges.
Right-wing activists have been demanding registration of an FIR against a hockey coach, Abid Ali, who allegedly offered namaz in the stadium premises.
The activists staged a protest at the Kotwali police station in Pilibhit on Saturday and dispersed only after they were assured that action would be taken on their written complaint.
The coach, Abid Ali, however had denied having offered namaz in the stadium grounds.
Abid Ali, who represented India in U-16 category in late 1980s, said that he never offered prayers on the ground but he does offer prayers outside the ground as the time of evening prayers coincides with the training time.
He was granted permission for the same when he joined in 2014.
An alumnus of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), Ali has been coaching young hockey players in Pilibhit without any financial remuneration from the Uttar Pradesh government.
Ali said, "During the break from practice session, I move out of the ground and go to a corner to offer prayers. While I was a junior in Punjab, a senior coach had told me that I can offer namaz in the stadium but I never offered prayers on the ground. I have a great respect for the game and will never violate rules."
City Magistrate Arun Kumar Singh, who met the protesters, and assured them a transparent probe into the matter, had said, "I have asked the sports in-charge to probe the matter and provide me the report. No FIR has been registered."