‘Chak De’ role model- hockey legend Negi comes under corruption net

Former Indian hockey goalkeeper and the inspiration behind the Bollywood hit movie Chak De India Mir Ranjan Negi presently Assistant Commissioner of Customs may be suspended soon in the ongoing crackdown against corruption in the air cargo complex, Sahar in Mumbai. This was revealed through a letter written to the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) by Chief Commissioner of Customs to suspend M R Negi. The officer was attached to the air cargo complex, was recently transferred out of the complex on the instructions of the directorate of vigilance for supervisory failure, as sources disclosed.

Last week, 17 officials comprising appraisers and examiners were suspended as part of a crackdown on corruption. There have been reports on smuggling operations at the air cargo complex.

In a text message, Negi said, “Unfortunately, I cannot offer any comment as vigilance investigations are being conducted by the vigilance department and the whole truth is bound to come out soon.” In a message, Singh said the process (for suspension) is different in these cases. Negi has already been transferred to insignificant postings.

It is learned that the air cargo complex, the oldest and the biggest in the country, generates revenue of Rs 14,000 crore. In the past three months, various units of the CBEC have unearthed smuggling rackets operating out of the complex, indicating a failure of the monitoring system.

A case of seizure of 200 blank guns declared as toy guns went against Negi sources said. A separate licence under the Arms Act is required to bring in blank guns unlike toy guns, the matter came out during an inspection by the directorate of vigilance after the goods remained uncleared for a month.

The man who inspired Chak De! India

Chak De is based on the real-life story of Negi, a former Indian hockey goalkeeper who faced humiliation after conceding seven goals against Pakistan in the 1982 Asian Games final. Negi was dropped from the team, but 16 years later he returned as goalkeeping coach for the women’s team, winning the 1998 Asian Games gold at Bangkok. He and some others were sacked but Negi came back as the goalkeeping coach for women and won the Commonwealth Games gold in 2002. Actor Shah Rukh Khan essayed the role of Negi in the movie.

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