Monday, November 29, 1999

Gill asks ministry officials to take up issue of shooters` harassment

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New Delhi, May 16 (IANS) Sports minister M.S. Gill, taking strong note of the reported harassment of Indian shooters in the ongoing World Cup in England, Sunday asked his officers to get the details of the incident so that the matter can be taken up with higher authorities in London.Gill held a meeting with his officials here Sunday asking them to get details of the incident from the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) and the Indian High Commission in London.'The Sports Minister, taking note of the media reports regarding the harassment of Indian shooters in UK, held a meeting with Ministry officials this (Sunday) morning. The minister has directed officers to get in touch with officials of the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) and the Indian High Commission in London to know the full details,' a sports ministry official said.NRAI secretary-general Baljeet Singh Sethi told IANS that it was a clear case of racism.'They still consider us as their slaves. Such incidents have taken place in the past as well during the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester,' Sethi said.The incident took place Saturday at the Southern County Shooting Ranges at Dorset in England, when the team bus driver shut the door even as an Indian shooter was about to board the bus and left him stranded at the range. When the other shooters on the bus strongly objected, the driver turned back and went to the supervisor of the transport department.Indian team manager T. Padmanabhan said the transport department officials of the event also misbehaved with the Indian shooters.Ace trap shooter and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Manavjit Singh Sandhu said a couple of transport officials were very rude with the Indian contingent.Two days back, two Indian female shooters were forced to get down from the bus, Padmanabhan alleged.Padmanabhan then shot off a letter to the Indian High Commission informing them about the harassment of the Indian shooters at the event.

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