'Bad elements' force Akhil to quit Railways

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/b/boxing.jpg' class='caption'> Disheartened with the delay in his promotion, World Cup bronze medallist boxer Akhil Kumar has decided to resign from the Railways.

Updated: January 20, 2009 19:13 IST
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New Delhi:

Disheartened with the delay in his promotion, World Cup bronze medallist boxer Akhil Kumar has decided to resign from the Railways despite the officials claiming that his elevation has already been approved by the Board.

"It's been a long frustrating wait which I can no longer carry on. I have been handed the letter of appointment by Haryana Police. Railways keep saying that they would promote me but have done nothing concrete. Therefore, I will resign tomorrow," Akhil, who will take over as DSP in Haryana Police, said on Monday.

Railways Sports Promotion Board secretary Rakesh Yadav said RSPB was unaware of Akhil's decision.

"It's news to me. I have been in touch with him and he didn't say anything of this sort. But why would he resign? The board has already approved his promotion and may be it's just a delay in sending him the letter," he claimed.

To this, Akhil retorted, "If that's the case then let it be. I am not going back on my decision. I would say there are certain bad elements in Railways who are just not interested in working."

The bantam weight pugilist will resign after being employed with RSPB for nine years.

Akhil joins Olympic bronze medallist Vijender Singh and another World Cup bronze medal winner Jitender Singh in the list of those resigning from RSPB, the reigning national champions.

"I thank the Railways for supporting me and taking care of me for nine long years but despite being the best sports promotion body in the country, they delay important matters like promotion endlessly," he added.

The 27-year-old started out as a group D employee before being promoted to group C after qualifying for the Athens Olympics. He got promoted to Grade II after his Melbourne Commonwealth Games gold medal and the subsequent Arjuna Award in 2006.

He has not been promoted since then despite winning a gold medal and the 'Best Boxer' trophy at the Asian Olympic qualifiers in Thailand, making the quarterfinals of the Beijing Olympics besides the bronze in the World Cup in Moscow last year.

"Being in Grade II is equivalent to being a senior clerk. There are athletes who have not given international performance like mine but they were promoted ahead of me. My case has been 'under consideration' for so long that I have run out of patience. Although, I must admit that I wanted to be with them," he said.

Railways coach Jaidev Bisht said he was disappointed with Akhil's decision.

"It does affect the team... Vijender, Akhil and Jitu were important for the team but we have to move on and work on new talent, there is no other option," he said.

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