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Shooters allege harassment in UK, India files complaint

Acting on the letter from Indian shooters alleging harassment, the Indian High Commission has taken up the matter with the event`s organisers.



London: Acting on the letter from Indian
shooters alleging harassment at ISSF World Cup in Dorset, the
Indian High Commission here has taken up the matter with the
event`s organisers, asking them to look into the complaints.

A senior official said apart from this the Indian team`s
manager at the event, M Padmanabhan, has been called to the
High Commission office on Tuesday where details of the alleged
incidents of harassment would be sought from him.

The Indian shooters have alleged that they were harassed
by the organisers which prompted Padmanabhan to shoot off a
letter to the High Commission in London.

In his letter to the High Commissioner, Padmanabhan said
the transport department officials at the event 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.

"On Friday, I had boarded the bus and one of my fellow
shooters was about to get on when the driver shut the door,
leaving him outside. When I protested, the driver said the
shooter was not on time but the guy was just standing at the
door and was not allowed to board, it`s stupid and absurd," he
said.

"It`s been going on for long. They can`t spoil the
tournament like this. Shooting is a mental sport. They can`t
disturb our peace of mind like this," he added.

According to Padmanabhan`s letter, released by the
National Rifle Association of India, Sandhu was then 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," 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 said shooters are feeling harassed.

"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 said.

Meanwhile, NRAI secretary Rajiv Bhatia said the
operators in question were demanding part of the transport
fees from the team in cash and when the manager went to a bank
to encash the travellers` cheques, they asked the Indian
shooters to get off the bus.

Bhatia said the bus operators accused Manavjit of
misbehaving with the vehicle driver, which was not true.

"I spoke to Manavjit who said there was no truth in the
charge".

Meanwhile, Tom Wehnham, Event Manager, ISSF World Cup
Shooting, said, "We received a report from the driver of the
team bus that she was verbally abused by an Indian athlete."

He said a technical delegate of the event spoke to the
driver and would talk to the Indian team before submitting a
report on the basis of which a decision would be taken.

Sports Minister MS Gill held a meeting with other officers of the ministry after which he promised to take up the issue with the NRAI and bring the culprits to book.

PTI

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