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152. Syed Modi

Date of birth1962
Place of birthSardarnagar, Gorakhpur district, Uttar Pradesh
Date of deathJuly 28, 1988
Place of deathLucknow

Men's singles
Highest RankingNo 1. in India  (1988)
Title(s)1982 Commonwealth Games, Men's singles
Bronze medal, 1982 Asian Games
National Badminton champion (1980-87)

Syed Modi (1962–1988) was an Indian badminton player, and an eight-time National Badminton champion (1980-87). He won the Austrian International in 1983 and 1984 and 1982 Commonwealth Gam, Men's singles title. His play displayed a mix of stylist Suresh Goel, of whom he was a protege, and the effectiveness of Prakash Padukone, whom he succeed as a National Champion.
Modi was murdered on July 28, 1988 in Lucknow as he came out of the K. D. Singh Babu Stadium after a practice session. After his death, a badminton tournament was constituted in his memory, "Syed Modi Memorial", All India Syed Modi badminton championship hosted each year at Lucknow, which turned into "Syed Modi International Challenge" in 2004, and starting December 2009 it would turn into "Syed Modi Grand Prix", organized by Badminton Association of India. The Railways of which he was an employee, opened the Syed Modi Railway stadium and auditorium at his native place, Gorakhpur.

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Early life and education

Syed Modi was born in 1962, in a lower middle-class Muslim family, in the town of Sardarnagar, 5 km from Chauri Chaura, Uttar Pradesh, where he was brought up and received his education. He was born Syed Mehdi but while playing a junior tournament in Mumbai his surname was wrongly written as Modi, which thereafter was continued to be used by him.

Badminton champion, Syed Modi with wife Ameeta Modi, also a badminton champion, plays at their resident, in New Delhi on January 1, 1985.


He worked with NE Railways as a Welfare Officer, in Gorakhpur and later shifted to Lucknow. Syed Modi became junior national champion in 1976 and trained under P.K. Bhandari till 1982, and thereafter under Dipu Ghosh, National Coach of Indian team.
In time, he became eight-time national badminton champion; won the Austrian International in 1983 and '84; won singles bronze in '82 Asian Games and received the Arjuna Award in 1981. At 1982 Commonwealth Games, he beat England's Nick Yates, 7-15, 15-5, 15-7 to take home the Men's singles crown.[ He later married Amita, a fellow badminton player.
Modi was shot dead on July 28, 1988 evening at the age of 27, as he was coming out of KD Singh Babu stadium, Lucknow after a routine practice. A brilliant career was cut shot and a severe blow was dealt to badminton in India as Modi was touted to be a superstar like Prakash Padukone.

 Murder case

The scandal surrounding Modi's murder attracted worldwide attention[11] and remains unsolved with those charged having been set free.Doubts have been raised against Modi's wife Amita and her alleged paramour Sanjay Singh, an Indian politician, a former Janata Dal Rajya Sabha member and a Congress Party Lok Sabha member from Amethi, politician Akhilesh Singh, and Akhilesh's henchmen — Bhagwati Singh alias Pappu, Jitendra Singh alias Tinku, Amar Bahadur Singh and Balai Singh. The UP government recommended a CBI probe into the case, which in turn named the seven in its chargesheet filed on Nov 7, 1998. While Amita, Sanjay and Akhilesh were chargesheeted for conspiracy, the others were named for executing the act. Amita and Sanjay Singh challenged the chargesheet, before the sessions judge who dropped the case against them on Sept 17, 1990. Amita eventually married Sanjay Singh and changed her name from Amita Modi to Amita Singh. Akhilesh was exonerated by Allahabad High Court in 1996, subsequently all the three discharges were upheld by the Supreme Court. Out of the remaining four accused Amar Bahadur Singh was murdered and Balai Singh died during the course of trial, thus the remaining two accused, Bhagwati Singh and Jitendra, were put on trial by the CBI, though Jitendra Singh was also exonerated later.
On August 22, 2009, nearly two decades after the murder the accused Bhagwati Singh, the lone surviving accused, was found guilty on two counts under Section 302 (murder) and Section 27 (possessing illegal arms) of IPC, by a Lucknow sessions court, which sentenced him to life imprisonment though the CBI had sought death sentence for him, plus from the life sentence, he was also given Rs 40,000 fine as also five years' RI and Rs 10,000 fine for recovery of unauthorized weapon from his possession.

Source : Wikipedia