Controversy and allegations of foulplay were at the centre of Indian basketball this week as the Basketball Federation of India started an inquiry into three players who had left the national camp without permission.
The three players, reportedly Amjyot Singh, Arshpreet Bhullar and Amritpal Singh, were allegedly involved in a roadside scuffle in Bengaluru and were injured on their way back to the national camp. However, Amjyot has alleged that he is facing a threat to his life from BFI, sharing photos of bruises on his body on his social media accounts.
According to The Times of India, the players left on motorbikes without informing the officials or coaches and later met with an accident. The players are part of the camp for the South Asian Games to be held in December.
“It was a rest day and these players decided to party outside. They took a bike and left the premises without informing any official,” said Chander Mukhi Sharma, the BFI Secretary General, told The Tribune.
“On their way back to the camp, their bike met with an accident, which resulted in injuries to them. The accident was seen by the local [Bengaluru] traffic police. They also had a minor scuffle at the accident spot as they started blaming each other for the accident,” he added.
However, there was another version of the story.
According to Amjyot, he was forced to drink alcohol during the trip outside the camp and he and Arshdeep got into an altercation because he refused. He also said that the latter assaulted him in his hostel room.
“Last night, Arshdeep, Amritpal and I went to the nearby hill outside our training centre as it was our day off from practice. Arshdeep offered me coke which had rum in it and we had a minor altercation,” Amjyot told The Indian Express.
“Later when I got to my room in the hostel, Arshdeep was sitting on my bed and he thrashed me. He broke my gold chain and spectacles and pushed me holding my throat. He was apparently angry about things I had posted on social media about my ban being unfair when it was finally lifted. He told me that he will kill me if I enter Jalandhar or Punjab. Later our team-mates Amritpal Singh and Satnam Singh stopped Arshdeep and locked us in separate rooms to stop the fight. Later, I filed my complaint with Bengaluru Police. Last time when I was handed the ban, BFI had told me not to file any case.”
Meanwhile, he shared photos of injuries to his knees and arms on social media and said that there was a threat to his life.
“I’ve posted a few days back that the son of the big personality who funds BFI has a huge role in banning me. They threatened me with my life. If I’m dead at the Indian camp these persons (names withheld) are responsible,” Amjyot wrote on his Instagram page.
Sharma dismissed the claims saying the assault marks were from the accident.
“Since the two met with the accident, they feared that their act of indiscipline would come out in public. Arshpreet was furious about Amjyot not riding the bike carefully and fought with him. A scuffle broke out and the two hit each other,” Sharma was quoted as saying by The Times of India.
This is not the first time Amjyot and Arshpreet have been involved in controversy.
Amjyot had allegedly slapped Arshdeep while the team was in Gold Coast during the Commonwealth Games. The incident prompted him to be banned, which was lifted in May this year. This latest clash is expected to result in “action against the three players,” according to The Indian Express.