A day ago, Olympic shooter Manu Bhaker has claimed that Air India stopped her from boarding on the flight. She was traveling to Bhopal for getting training at the state’s Shooting Academy for which she was carrying her guns along with luggage. But, she was stopped at the entrance by the officials citing the lack of valid documentation and permits to carry guns as the reason.
The incident reminds of unfortunate moments where sportsperson are not treated with due respect but every story has two sides. Manu’s claim against Air India was not supported by some of the great sports personalities; instead, they supported Air India.
But officials asked for a bribe as claimed by Bhaker. ” Shall I pay this Bribes or !!!” asked Manu.
19-years old shooter asked for help in her tweet:
IGI Delhi .Going to Bhopal (MP Shooting Acadmy
For my training i need to carry weapons and ammunition, Request @airindiain Officials to give little respect or at least don’t Insult players every time &please don’t ask money. I Have @DGCAIndia permit @HardeepSPuri @VasundharaBJP pic.twitter.com/hYO8nVcW0z
— Manu Bhaker (@realmanubhaker) February 19, 2021
Upon her tweet, many sports personalities showed support and shared their experience with AI. Indian cricketer Jhulan Goswami in her tweet said the incident is very unfortunate but my experience with AI is remarkable.
This is very unfortunate to have such incident occurred, but my association with Air India as an employee and a passenger is remarkable. AI has always set benchmark for showing respect to sports and sportspersons.@airindiain https://t.co/WvC8Z4xf8B
— Jhulan Goswami (@JhulanG10) February 19, 2021
Dhanraj Pillay and Harendra Singh were the other two who came in front and showed two sides of a story. Of course, there are two sides, Manu showed hers and Air India also defend their actions for stopping her from on-boarding.
“No one sought a ‘bribe’ as has been alleged,” said AI officials. Also, the statement clarifies the action of Air India’s employees at the counter who were performing their duty and asked only for legitimate documents for carrying guns failing to which one has to pay specific charges.
Dear Ms Bhaker
Our Delhi Airport team has confirmed that the official at our counter had only sought for valid documents as per rules for carriage of your weapon on board. (1/3) https://t.co/HCV87u6eha
— Air India (@airindiain) February 19, 2021
ISSF World Cup winner, Manu Bhaker however claimed that she was carrying all the permits mentioned by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation and still officials were asking for the bribe.
Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju intervened in the whole matter and ensured that Manu doesn’t miss her flight. Finally, she boarded the flight and thanked Kiren Rijiju for his support.