Monika's issue; Ban on National, International meets suspended
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, September 08: Giving a breather to the sportspersons of the State, the Coordinating Committee Against the Conspiracy to Exclude Monika from Beijing Olympics by Government of India has temporarily lifted the ban on participating in Zonal, National and International level competitions.

The decision was taken after a meeting of the Co-ordinating Committee at Khuman Lampak sports complex here today, announced Manipur Olympic Association (MOA) president and the Co-ordinating Committee's convener Elangbam Binoy Singh while talking to mediapersons after the meeting.

"Since the Centre has responded to the people's demand by entrusting CBI to begin inquiry into the matter related to deliberate exclusion of Manipuri weightlifter Laishram Monika Devi from the Beijing Olympic squad, we have resolved to lift the restriction so that the State athletes can continue excel in sports and bring more laurels' Binoy said adding "Our players will fight for the sake of justice".

Stating that sports has become a mass movement and that it survives because of the people's contribution, the MOA president said the whole people of Manipur have shown their united strength in demanding justice.

However, the Committee may resume its restriction if the guilty officials involved in pulling out Monika from the Olympics are not punished, Binoy informed.

The whole of Northeastern region and Manipur in particular has been in turmoil after Laishram Monika Devi, who hails from remote Nachou village of Bishnupur district, was withdrawn from the just concluded Beijing Olympics on doping charge, though the charge was cleared afterward.

On August 11 last a public meeting organized by the Committee at Khuman Lampak sports complex here and the meeting resolved that athletes of the State should stop participating in all sporting competitions beyond the State until the Centre tenders an apology to the people of Manipur, stops all forms of discrimination against sportspersons and punishment of the guilty officials.

Endorsing to meeting resolution, sportspersons of the State skipped from various Zonal and National sports competitions in different disciplines including Hockey ( sub-junior), athletes (zonal), Judo ( national), Kabadi ( zonal at Imphal), weight lifting ( National) and Sepak Tekraw ( National) and Subroto under 14, Binoy said.

The State athletes will, however, get the chance to take part in the Eastern Zone Badminton Championship to be held at Meghalaya, the MOA president added.

Monika, who is currently in Manipur, has expressed her heartfelt gratitude to the Committee for struggling for her cause.

A rally will be staged at Imphal by representatives of various sports and students bodies in addition to Meira Paibi (women vigil groups) on Wednesday to exert pressure for bringing justice in the CBI probe and book the errant officials, the MOA chief informed.

On Wednesday last around one hundred womenfolk picketed Manipur Youth Affairs and Sports (YAS) office at Khuman Lampak sports complex demanding announcement of the Krishnamurthy probe report and punishment of the guilty officials.