China targets Arunachal karate players, issues them staple visas
New Delhi, July 20 (ANI): Sticking to its position, China has once again issued stapled visas to sportspersons from Arunachal Pradesh, due to which three Karatekas were unable to represent India in the 11th Asian Karate-do Championship (Junior and Cadet) to be held at Quanghou City in Fujjian province of China from July 20 to 25.
The Chinese Embassy in Delhi gave staple visas to karatekas from the north eastern state which include Likha Lej (52 kg cadet boys), Tage Saa (65 junior boys) and Rei Yadi (53 kg junior girls), secretary Langkung Marik, Indian team coach and President of Arunachal Karate Federation.
All were given stapled visas by the Chinese embassy in New Delhi, which prevented them from flying to China. Indian authorities at New Delhi's IGI airport had to turn them away because of the stapled visas.
Karate players and the officials of the Arunachal Karate Association were returned from Indira Gandhi Airport last night. Airport authorities told them that there is a directive from home ministry that stapled visas given to residents of Arunachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir by Chinese embassy is considered illegitimate.
Likha Tara, the President of the Arunachal Karate Association, told ANI that Chinese embassy has singled out Arunachal sports persons. He said that the rest of the 35 karatekas selected by All India Karate Federation were given normal visas.
Arunchal sportspersons applied for their visas on July 4, after dilly-dalying for days. The Chinese embassy gave them the stapled visas July 19.
Expressing outrage over the incident, Congress Lok Sabha Member of Parliament from Arunachal Pradesh Takam Sanjoy said "The matter is becoming serious and I will liase with Members of Parliament of the state. We will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and will urge them to solve the staple visas issue with China for once and forever, either bilaterally or diplomatically."
He added that the incident shows the vulnerability of sportsperson of the state. Our youngsters are talented. They should not be denied taking part in such compeitions.
Earlier, China had issued stapled visas to two Arunachal sportspersons in January-Indian Weightlifting Federation Joint Secretary Abraham K Techi, and a weightlifter from Arunachal Pradesh. By Naveen Kapoor (ANI)
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