Hopes still alive for Indian team manager; was earlier denied a visa by the Chinese embassy
The China Super Series is already up and running and Indian star shuttler Saina Nehwal has even bowed out of the tournament, but it’s a different story for the Indian teams’ manager, Bamang Tago. He has alleged that he has been denied a visa by the Chinese embassy since he is a resident of Arunachal Pradesh and is stranded back home.
Tago was named as the manager of the Indian contingent for the China Open but the Chinese Embassy said that the decision of not issuing the visa was from the government official from Beijing and hence could not be revoked.
Tago, who is also the secretary of the Arunachal Pradesh Badminton Association, was to lead the 14-member Indian contingent to participate in the Thaihot China Open in Fuzhou, a prestigious Super Series event in the BWF calendar which commenced on the 15th of the month and will conclude on November 20.
The Badminton Association of India had done its part of submitting all the required documents of the Indian team several weeks ago at the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi. While all the other 13 members received their visa without any hindrance and left for China on November 12, Tago was left behind.
Prof. A. K. Mittra, the Vice President of the Badminton Association of India, however said to Sportskeeda, “The visa of Mr. Bamang Tago has neither been rejected nor approved. The concerned staff of the Association is dedicatedly following up with the Chinese embassy so that the team manager is able to attend the tournament, despite it having already started.”
A fuming Tago is not entirely optimistic about the situation despite approaching Minister of State, Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju, "I have been in Delhi since November 10 but I have not been granted the visa. I am the manager of the Indian team and they are already there playing in the first round today but I am stuck here," Tago told PTI. “So today I met Mr Kiren Rijiju and sought his intervention. He told me he will look into the matter and enquire about it and get back to me. I am hoping something positive comes out," he added.
Delving further on the issue, he said to India Today, “It is a clear case of discrimination since I come from Arunachal Pradesh. Unofficially, people in the embassy have told me that the only reason why I have been denied visa is because of where I hail from. But they can’t say this officially. That is the reason why they have informed me officially that the decision is taken by the officials sitting in Beijing.”
"It has been 54 years since the Chinese aggression of 1962 and 70 years of India's Independence. The issue of Arunachal Pradesh remains unsettled because of the territorial dispute between India and China which has put the future of the Indigenous people of Arunachal in uncertainty," he was quoted as saying to the Times of India.
It is not the first time that China has denied a visa to the people of Arunachal Pradesh. In some cases, they have even issued stapled visas which drew objections from the Indian government. In Jan 2012, a team of Arunachal weightlifters were prevented from boarding their flight by Indian immigration officials for possessing stapled visas.
Similarly, in October 2013, two young archers who hailed from Arunachal Pradesh were barred from boarding their flight for the same reason and were unable to participate in Youth World Archery Championship in Wuxi in China.
"China has now become an important location for international sports events and will continue to host more in the future. In such a scenario, sportspersons from Arunachal Pradesh will be deprived in days to come for no fault of theirs," Tago said.