By Our Sports Reporter
GUWAHATI, Jan 10: For years now, Bikash Baruah and controversy had become synonymous in Assam. From a morphed photograph scam to the endless delay in construction of the Barsapara Stadium to the recent holding of cheques meant for State players, Baruah's 13-year stint as the secretary of Assam Cricket Association (ACA) was marred by controversies and allegations galore that inevitably affected development of the sport and nurturing of players' talent in the State. Bikash Baruah's misdeeds did not stop there. He was also charged with taking uuthorized leave from his government office and abusing State players verbally. Baruah was elected as secretary of the ACA in the annual general meeting held at Bongaigaon in 2002. Thereafter, Baruah held on to the chair till September, 2015 when he was asked to go on forced leave.
Although Baruah, on many occasions claimed that he is the man for the players, but that tagline had very little takers. State players were never comfortable with him.
Baruah was involved in a major controversy in 2013 when he distributed a morphed photograph to the media showing himself with Kolkata Knight Riders team owner Shah Rukh Khan and Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone. The forensic examition conducted on the photograph later confirmed that the picture was doctored.
In the very same year, the State government placed Baruah under suspension for taking uuthorized leave from his office in the Agriculture department for a long period. Baruah was working as a Lower Divisiol Clerk in the department. Later, however, he took voluntary retirement.
Baruah has also been under fire for the inordite delay in construction of the Barsapara cricket stadium. Allegations are rife that Baruah and a few other top officials of the ACA were willfully delaying the construction for vested interests.
As voices against the ACA secretary grew shriller, ACA president Gautam Roy was compelled to ask Baruah to go on leave last year.
Although he was out of ACA for the last couple of months, controversy didn't leave him. The former secretary was again in the news for wrong reason after 61 cheques, issued by the BCCI for the players and Rs 9.5 lakh were found from his drawer at the Nehru stadium office, which proved to be the fil il in his coffin.