Indian Navy has issued an arrest warrant against Haryana's cricketer Deepak Punia. Deepak is an officer in Navy and is accused of playing for Haryana Ranji team without a no objection certificate (NOC).
In this warrant issued on October 24, Commodore M M S Shergill, Commanding Officer of INS Angre, has authorized Haryana and Mumbai police to arrest Punia.
“Such being an offense against Navy Act 1957, and you are to bring the said Deepak Punia, AG PO (US), 237169-Y, on board the said ship or some other Indian Naval Ship to answer for the said offence and to be further dealt with according to law,” says the warrant.
The letter also states: “It has come to our notice that players taken NOC for 2016-17 are being allowed by BCCI to use the same NOC for the current season … In this regard it has been reported that Deepak Punia is continuing with old NOC … hence it is requested that Deepak Punia be reverted back to his parent department.”
In reply, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has said “Punia has fulfilled the NOC formalities and on the basis of which we had allowed him to play for Haryana.”
Speaking to The Indian Express, Punia said: “I had informed my officer that I am representing Haryana this season. I was told that I can’t play while on duty and if I want to play for a different state, I should take leave and then play. So I submitted my application for 30 days leave, and later applied for an extension. My officers told me the extension would not be granted. I was told to return or else they (Navy) would issue an arrest warrant. Aur phir unhone arrest warrant seedha nikal diya (And then they issued an arrest warrant).”
He said there are other players employed by the Services who continue to play for other states. “I don’t know why this is happening? Earlier, nobody had any problem. I played two seasons for Saurashtra and was also part of Mumbai Indians. Now, suddenly they are saying that I can’t play for Haryana,” he said.
Deepak got this arrest warrant when he had played two matches for the Ranji Trophy Haryana team last month.