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Union Min Rijiju condemns Chinese act of visa denial to Arunachal athletes

New Delhi: Union Minister Kiren Rijiju strongly condemned the Chinese act of denying visas to three female Wushu players belonging to Arunachal Pradesh and said that the act violates both the spirit of Sports and the Rules governing the conduct of the Asian Games.

The three female Wushu players from Arunachal Pradesh – Nyeman Wangsu, Onilu Tega and Mepung Lamgu – have been denied entry into China for the 2023 Asian Games that get underway this weekend.

Taking to the social media platform ‘X’ Kiren Rijiju wrote, “I strongly condemn this act by China to deny visas to our Wushu Athletes from Arunachal Pradesh who were to participate in the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou. This violates both the spirit of Sports & also the Rules governing the conduct of Asian Games, which explicitly prohibits discrimination against competitors from member states.”

Further retorting to Chinese claims of Arunachal being a disputed territory and some of its part belonging to China, Rijiju said, “Arunachal Pradesh is not a disputed territory but an inalienable part of India. The entire people of Arunachal Pradesh resolutely oppose any illegal claim of China on its land and people. International Olympic Committee should reign in China's illegitimate action.”

Meanwhile, Sports Minister Anurag Thakur has cancelled his visit to China for the Asian Games in accordance with the issue.

Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson, Arindam Bagchi said that India reserved the right to take measures to safeguard its interests. "As a mark of our protest against the Chinese action, the 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 interest," Bagchi said.

The MEA spokesperson said that India rejects the treatment of its players by Chinese Authorities. "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" he 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," Arindam Bagchi added.

Two of the Wushu players hailing from Arunachal Pradesh, Onilu Tega and Mepung Lamgu who were approved to take part by the Hangzhou Asian Games 2023 Organising Committee were unable to download their accreditation cards - which act as visas to enter China.

The third athlete Nyeman Wangsu, who managed to download her accreditation, was informed that she would not be allowed to travel beyond Hong Kong. The athletes were to take part in individual events of the martial arts sport. (ANI) 

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