Monday, November 29, 1999

Indian shooters harassed in Dorset ISSF World Cup

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New Delhi, May 15 (PTI) The Indian shooting contingent, partcipating at the ISSF World Cup in Dorset, UK today allged that they were harrased by the organisers which forced the team manager M Padmanabhan to shot off a letter to the High Commission in London. In his letter to the Indian High Commissioner in London, Padmanabhan brought to light the harassment the shooters encountered at the hands of transport department officials. According to the letter, released by the National Rifle Association of India, ace trap shooter and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Manavjit Singh Sandhu was insulted by the transport supervisor Mike. "Our Indian shooters were in the process of boarding the bus from the ranges to the official hotel when the driver slammed the door shut on the Indian shooter waiting outside and left him at the range. When the other shooters on the bus strongly objected, the driver turned back and went to the supervisor of the transport dept, Mr Mike. "Mr Mike then returned to the bus and yelled and screamed at our shooters and insulted them. He was very very rude and threatened the team with dire circumstances. He then addressed our Indian World Champion and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Mr Manavjit Singh and told him to get off the bus. He refused saying that the bus was the official transport and not his personal vehicle. Mr. Mike then threatened him by saying that the Indian Team will not be allowed to take the bus tomorrow morning," Padmanabhan wrote in his letter. "Two days earlier the same transport department had forced our two women shooters, Ms Shreyasi and Ms Shagun to get off the bus. They were humiliated thus in front of all other competing nations," the letter said. Padmanabhan has requested the High Commission to take up the matter with the Organizing Committee so that Indian shooters do not have to face more embarrassment. "We are feeling very harassed and cannot believe that we are being treated this way. We request that you may take this matter up with the Organising Committee of the ISSF World Cup, Dorset. We are feeling very insecure, insulted and threatened in the current atmosphere and the shooters will be unable to give their best at their events," Padmanabhan signed off. PTI SSC AT.

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