Archery Assn demands govt intervention in stapled visa issue
New Delhi: Top officials of Archery Association of India on Friday expressed shock and anger at the incident of two Arunachali archers, who were issued stapled Chinese visas, being prevented from leaving for China to take part in the upcoming Youth World Championship and demanded the immediate intervention of the government.
Mihu Maselo and Yumi Sorang -- both 14 years old -- were disallowed by China Southern Airlines authorities from boarding a Guangzhou-bound flight at the IGI Airport late last night, saying they will not be allowed to enter China as they don`t have affixed visa on their passport.
The other members of the 24-strong archery team left for the Youth World Championship to be held at Wuxi in Jiangsu province in eastern China from October 13-21.
AAA President V K Malhotra wrote a strongly-worded letter to External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and said time has come to call the Chinese bluff. He said giving stapled visas to the two archers from Arunachal Pradesh was an affront to India`s sovereignty and integrity.
"Time and again China has indulged in such mischievous activities challenging the territorial integrity of India. Several times, the Chinese Embassy has issued stapled visas for Indian citizens hailing from Jammu and Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh but our Government`s reaction has always been very mute," Malhotra said.
"What China wants to convey to the Indian Government just before the Prime Minister`s visit to Beijing?" he asked.
Malhotra demanded the External Affairs Ministry to immediately seek clarification from the Chinese Embassy why the two archers were not allowed to travel to China.
"There has to be a measured and comprehensive response to these Chinese dirty tricks from Indian Government," he said.
AAA vice-president and Member of Parliament Kiren Rijiju was furious at Indian government for not resolving this issue.
"My anguish is why everytime this is happening to Indian citizens from Arunachal. We are representing India and we are discriminated again and again as a disputed territory by Chinese Embassy. I am appalled at why the Indian government is letting this to happen again and again," said Rijiju.