As far as insults go, it couldn't have got any worse! As a nation, we are notorious for our shabby treatment of our national sporting heroes, except those from the cricketing world. And it seems the world at large, too has taken a cue on how to treat India's sportspersons.
In a shocking incident on Saturday, the elite contingent of Indian shooters, which include ace Indian shooter and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Gagan Narang, Sanjeev Rajput, Vijay Kumar, Rahi Sarnobat, Joydeep Karmakar amongst others, were evicted from a London hotel and they had to spend the night at the hotel lobby without food and water, due to mismanagement, lack of coordination and bungling by the event management company that coordinated their t
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"We were left without any food for nearly seven hours for no fault of ours. It was really insulting for all of us, as the hotel staff was unwilling to listen to anything. It was only after the Indian Embassy intervened that an alternative arrangement was provided in Hotel Radisson," men's 25-metre rapid fire pistol shooter Pemba Tamang told DNA after his return from London.
The National Rifles Association of India (NRAI) has said that it will raise the issue at the highest possible level and will demand that stringent action be taken against the guilty. The decision to lodge a complaint with the International Olympic Council (IOC), organisers of the London test event, Asian Shooting Confederation (ASC) and the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) was reached after getting a first-hand report from the shooters and officials.
"The letter would be sent to the MEA by Tuesday. We have demanded strict action against the guilty parties. This kind of behaviour is shocking and unacceptable. This is not just an insult to our elite players or the shooting federation, but an insult to the nation," said NRAI advisor Baljit Singh Sethi.
The report submitted by players and officials on their return clearly states that the team had to spend Saturday night at the Grange St Pauls Hotel lobby, despite the payment having been made in advance till Sunday, due to a mix-up in accommodation, courtesy the event management company's bungling. The team coach Sunny Thomas too admitted that "the management company messed it up".
MEA official spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin, meanwhile, confirmed that an incident occurred and the Indian Embassy in London intervened to provide an alternative to the beleaguered shooters.
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