DGC People Facing Death Threats from Golfer Gang: President Bedi
The controversy involving golfer Rashid Khan took a new turn on Monday with the DGC President Major Ravinder Singh Bedi (retd) claiming that people associated with the Club have been issued "death threats" by the "gang" which was refused entry along with 'banned' Rashid Khan on 25 May, Saturday.
Rashid has alleged that he was a victim of discrimination by the Delhi Golf Club (DGC), which did not let him and others practice on Saturday, though, they were willing to pay the required green fees (for non-members).
Rashid and nine other caddie-turned-golfers were detained by the police and taken to Tughlaq Road police station for questioning on Saturday after being denied permission to enter the Club.
“There have been death threats from them. They have called some people of DGC and issued death threats. They said they have criminal minds. We have submitted the call records to the police. Can you allow such people inside the club? There is a physical threat to me as well.”Ravinder Singh Bedi, President, DGC
"Rashid went to the court against DGC, brought disrepute to the club by badmouthing at a press conference and also had a scuffle with a security guard here in January, so he was banned from the Club," Bedi said.
PGTI regular Honey Baisoya, who was also banned from practicing at the Club, said the call was not targeted to any member and DGC is blowing the issue out of proportion.
"The guy was drunk and he didn't mean what he said. He immediately apologised and the matter ended there but the DGC is making it an issue and using it against us now." said Honey Baisoya.
The DGC President said a recent incident prompted him to call police on Saturday.
“I had lodged a written complaint with the police against this gang on May 19. Rashid was not there but the others stopped my car from going out for 3-4 hours. They sat on the gates. I am a senior citizen but they didn’t consider, so I called the police and they were taken away.”Ravinder Singh Bedi, President, DGC
"In the light of this incident, when Rashid along with this gang came last Saturday and tried to get in saying they will pay green fees, they were refused entry. They sat with their bags at the gate. It was then I called up the police again." said Bedi.
Bedi said there was no discrimination against anyone and the staff's children are inducted in multiple junior programs to play at DGC.
“Rashid was picked up similarly as a kid and was supported. Someone perhaps misguided him to get a membership in the club but for any one to seek a membership one has to apply. Without even applying you can’t say that give me a membership because I am a top golfer.”Ravinder Singh Bedi, President, DGC
The DGC membership has three levels: A, B and C.
A person is inducted in the 'C' level only if an 'A' member dies but a 'C' member is not permitted to play in the 18-hole main course.
In fact, a 'B' member is also not permitted to play in main course in winters unless he is accompanied by three A members.
Rashid has said that not being able to practice at DGC will affect his Olympic dreams.
The DGC president said Rashid has a lot of option now that he is a top golfer.
"He is now earning a seven figure income. He has many options to play. He can practice at the Noida Golf course or Qutub etc. If you want to be a top golfer, you should be ready to play in different courses and conditions." Bedi said.
Rashid has claimed that DGC had stopped allowing caddie-turned-players from practising at the course since 2012, thus ruining careers of golfers coming from humble backgrounds.
“Some golfers were not allowed in the last few years because they didn’t feature in the yearly list which DGC comes up with depending on their performance. But they forcibly used to enter and play at the course. They had no playing rights and so I stopped them.”Ravinder Singh Bedi, President, DGC
Many golfers want the DGC to implement the government's decision to have 10 percent reservations for all sports persons.
Bedi said it has been an unresolved issue with the government.
"Govt already has 20% reservation, so if they want us to introduce the 10 per cent reservation for sports persons then it has to be done from this 20 percent It is not possible to accommodate otherwise. It would be unfair to the thousands of people who have applied for membership." he said.
"If government wants to nominate a sports person then it is different. The government also need to lay down criteria." said Bedi.
"The land is on lease but it is not free, we are paying the government, so we have the right to control, who practices and run the club according to the rules laid down," Bedi said.