Arunachal Pradesh visa row: CM condemns China’s act; BJP writes to Prez

Arunachal Pradesh CM Nabam Tuki condemned granting of stapled Chinese visa to 2 women archers who were prevented at IGI Airport from leaving for China to take part in Youth World Archery Championship.

Updated: Oct 11, 2013, 19:06 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Nabam Tuki on Friday condemned granting of stapled Chinese visa to two young women archers who were prevented at the IGI Airport from leaving for China to take part in the upcoming Youth World Archery Championship.

"We strongly object to the grant of stapled visas to two talented sportswomen who were on their way to represent the country," he told reporters here.

Immigration officials at the airport had stopped Mihu Maselo and Yumi Sorang, who were the only two archers from Arunachal Pradesh in the 24-member squad, from boarding a China Southern Airlines flight to Guangzhou last night.

"We are an integral part of India. We are Indians, we cannot be denied the right to travel. This is a sad day for the youth of the state in particular and of the country as a whole which inspite of having so much talent are being deprived due to issuance of stapled visa," he said.

The Chief Minister said he would take up the matter at the highest level and will appeal to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take steps for early resolution of the stapled visa issue which is hampering the scope of Arunachal`s people.

Tuki today took up the matter with the External Affairs Ministry and sought its immediate intervention to facilitate the travel of the archers of the state to participate in the World Championships.

He spoke to the Joint Secretary in the MEA Gautam Bambawale, who is in charge of Sino-Indo affairs, and sought his intervention for issuance of regular visa to enable the players to participate in the championship.

The Chief Minister also met the two players at his office in Arunachal Bhawan here and assured all support to them.

Meanwhile, Vice President of Archery Association of India and former MP Kiren Rijiju has decided to resign from his post in protest against the issuance of stapled visa to two archers from Arunachal Pradesh.

"Visa is another humiliation to us. It is untenable for me to continue in the position as Vice-President of Archery Association of India. I will send my resignation letter once I am back from border areas of Arunachal Pradesh," the former MP of Arunachal Pradesh said.

BJP asks Govt to take up issue with China

BJP urged the government to take up the issue with Beijing and also requested President Pranab Mukherjee to initiate appropriate steps in this regard.

In a letter to Mukherjee, BJP Arunachal Pradesh chief Tai Tagak expressed serious concern over China issuing stapled visas to people from his state since 2011. This has denied Arunachalees the opportunity to attend any important international events in China.

"The worst affected are the upcoming young sportspersons, who- for no fault of theirs- are discriminated. This is a gross discouragement to our young talents," he said.

"Despite repeated representations to the government and the assurance of (then) Chinese Primier Wen Jiabao to look into the stapled visa issue, the harassment meted out is a clear sign that the Centre has not done enough to get justice for the Arunachalees. At the same time there is increased activity and intrusion by the Chinese army," Tagak said.

He said this reflects lack of sensitivity and seriousness on the part of the government in resolving the matter. He warned that this situation may strengthen Chinese intentions and their claims over the state.

"Therefore, sir, the state BJP urges the Government of India to take up the issue with its Chinese counterpart to end this visa imbroglio once and for all and deliver justice to the people of Arunachal Pradesh," Tagak said, adding that the party anticipates prompt initiation from Mukherjee on the issue.