Manu Bhaker 'insulted', 'harassed' at Delhi's IGI Airport; Kiren Rijiju interferes to make her boarding possible
New Delhi | Jagran Sports Desk: Indian olympian Manu Bhaker has claimed that she was allegedly "harassed and insulted" by two Air India officials at Delhi's IGI Airport while she tried to board a flight to Bhopal from the national capital.
Demanding action against the two officials, the 19-year-old pistol shooter thanked Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju for his intervention in boarding her flight on Friday evening.
"Thank you every one and all who help me. Especially Who made my boarding possible. Few also think May be one sided and I got undue advantage. Sport ministry bears all my expense spent by me in any form Very clear if I had to pay for any wrong or right reason it’s Govt money," she said.
Meanwhile, the Air India apologised for the conduct of its employees and issued a clarification, saying the officials had only sought for valid documents as per the rules for carriage of weapons on board.
"In absence of the same, legitimate specified charges for the arms were conveyed to you. No one sought a ‘bribe’ as has been alleged. You were issued boarding pass on your assurance of furnishing valid documents before boarding," the national carrier tweeted.
"Immediately after the official valid documents were shown by you at the boarding point, you were allowed to board. It may please be noted that Air India has always encouraged and respected Sportspersons and have many an eminent sports legends working with us," it added.
Though the Air India issued a clarification, Manu claimed that the two officials snatched her mobile and "deleted the picture" which her mother "clicked as the harassment went on" but expressed hopes that everything was captured by the CCTV cameras.
Manu said she had to go through the "ordeal" despite carrying all valid documents and clearance from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for travelling with her weapons and ammunition.
"But then they refused to recognise even DGCA and when I told them that I travel frequently with my ammunition and that I am a shooter who is going to represent India in Olympics, they said 'whether you play in nationals or Olympics it doesn't matter to us'," she said.
"Their conduct was unacceptable, I mean at least give some respect to athletes and don't insult them every now and then. The main problem was not money but his behaviour. The ministry takes care of all our expenses," she added.
Posted By: Aalok Sensharma