New Delhi: Anil Kumar Punj, a former basketball player and an Arjuna awardee passed away here on Friday, according to Basketball Federation of India (BFI).
He was 63 years old.
Punj had an illustrious career in the Border Security Force from 1968 to 2004 from where he retired as Commandant.
He was conferred the Arjuna Award in 1976 and Police Medal for Meritorious Services 1992. He was also decorated with the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Award by the Punjab government in 1986.
He participated in the 1970 Asian Games in Bangkok and two Asian Basketball Championships - 1971 (Tokyo) and 1973 (Manila).
"Anil Kumar Punj was a highly talented, brilliant and respected player. He was famed for his sportsmanship and for always gave his best to the team," a BFI release said.
"This is great loss to basketball in India. Anil Kumar Punj was a legendary basketball player," Harish Sharma, the Secretary-General of the BFI said in the release.
During his career Punj bagged two gold, four silver and
The Punjab Basketball Association (PBA), in a special meeting presided over by President R.S. Gill, IPS (Retd.), condoled the sudden demise of Punj.
Teja Singh Dhaliwal, the Secretary-General of the PBA, said, "It is a sad moment for the basketball society. We have lost a great player and a great friend."