India has expressed its strong objection to China regarding the refusal to allow three Indian wushu players from Arunachal Pradesh to travel for the Asian Games.
Further, the visit of Sports Minister Anurag Thakur to the Asian Games in China has also been cancelled.
"A strong protest has been lodged in New Delhi and Beijing against China's deliberate and selective obstruction of some of our sportspersons. China’s action violates both the spirit of the Asian Games and the rules governing their conduct, which explicitly prohibits discrimination against competitors from member states," the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement on Friday (22 September).
The Asian Games are scheduled to take place in Hangzhou, China from 223 September to 8 October.
"Government of India has learnt that the Chinese authorities have, in a targeted and pre-meditated manner, discriminated against some of the Indian sportspersons from the state of Arunachal Pradesh by denying them accreditation and entry to the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China," the MEA said,
"In line with our long-standing and consistent position, India firmly rejects differential treatment of Indian citizens on the basis of domicile or ethnicity. Arunachal Pradesh was, is and will always remain an integral and inalienable part of India," it said.
"Further, as a mark of our protest against the Chinese action, Minister of Information and Broadcasting and Youth Affairs and Sports of India has cancelled his scheduled visit to China for the Games. Government of India reserves the right to take suitable measures to safeguard our interests," the ministry said.
According to a Hindustan Times report, the three women players - Nyeman Wangsu, Onilu Tega and Mepung Lamgu -- did receive their accreditation cards from Hangzhou Asian Games Organising Committee (HAGOC) which also acts as an entry visa. The athletes are then required to download their travel document which is validated upon arrival.
However, the three players from Arunachal could not download their travel document on Wednesday (20 September) when they were scheduled to travel for the Asian Games.
Meanwhile, the rest of the wushu squad, consisting of ten players, and the coaching staff faced no such issues and successfully boarded their flight to Hong Kong on Wednesday night. From there, they had a connecting flight to Hangzhou.
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