Monika back, demands justice
'I am a victim of politics in sports'
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, August 17: Describing herself as a victim of politics in Indian sports, Manipuri weightlifter Laishram Monika, whose last minute omission from the Indian Olympic squad for ongoing Beijing Olympics, 2008 on alleged charge of failing a dope test causing wide-spread protest and raising question on the efficiency and sincerity of the officials of the Sports Authority of India, has demanded punishment of all those involved in the dirty politics.

Speaking at a reception function hosted in her honour at the Iboyaima Shumang Leela Sanglen at Palace Compound here today, Monika, who arrived at Imphal today said ''I could not take part in the Olympic Games as a result of politics in Indian sports.

All those who are responsible for framing false charges against me should be pulled up and given befitting punishment''.

A teary eyed Monika being received at the airport acknowledges the goodwill of the people

The reception function was organised by the Co-ordinating Committee Against Monika's Withdrawal from Beijing Olympic, 2008 after Monika was accorded a hero's welcome at the airport as well as all along the roads of Imphal by the people of the State.

Monika said 'I never knew politics in Indian sports would be so dirty to the extent of forcing an innocent player but able who had work hard for the Olympics to be omitted at the last minute by framing false charges'.

'The stand taken by the people of my State Manipur for a victimised player like me is simply overwhelming'', she said with tears, while seeking the continued support of the people in finding out the truth and punishment of the guilty persons.

From the side of the Co-ordinating Committee it was made clear that there has been no charge in stand on the various resolutions adopted during a public meeting convened by it on August 11 in connection with the case of Monika.

Among the resolutions, the meeting decided to call a general strike in Manipur with effect from 5 am of August 19 to 5 am of the following day besides launching various intense agitations in case the Government of India does not apologise to the people of Manipur on the issue of Monika by August 17 (today).

Among those who spoke at the reception function, Ibotombi, ex-secretary of ACOAM-Lup said the discriminatory attitude of the Government of India towards the people of Manipur should not be condoned.

All those who are behind the conspiracy of not allowing Monika to participate in the Beijing Olympic Games should be punished and let the truth be prevailed.

M Memchoubi, president of Poirei Leimarol Meira Paibi Apunba, Manipur demanded to know why the Sports Minister of Manipur has not resigned from his post despite knowing the wrongdoings of the Government of India.

''If the Sports Minister is really concerned about the welfare of the sports-persons of Manipur, then he ought to resign and let the Government of India know about it through action'', Memchoubi said.

AK Janaki, president of MEEKHOL questioned whether the people of Manipur should continue to remain quite against the discriminatory attitude of the Government of India.

Monika's case is not the first instance in which the Government of India has discriminated the Manipuri players in sending them to International sporting events where they could compete with their counterparts, she said, adding that it is because of the silence maintained by the people of Manipur in the past against such discrminations that the case of Monika has come about.

''We should not remain quite anymore so that such incidents do not recur in the future'', she exhorted the gathering.

E Binoykumar, president of Manipur Olympic Association observed that it is the target of every sportspersons who put in years of work hard to participate in the Olympic Games.

So belittling the target of Monika and the manner in which she was omitted from the Beijing Olympic by some people should be taken as a insult to the people of Manipur as a whole.

Maintaining that the incident of Monika would discourage many upcoming sportspersons, Binoykumar also demanded that all those who are involved in the case should be given befitting punishment.

Representatives of many civil organisations also spoke at the reception function attended by many sportspersons.

Meanwhile, Co-ordinating Committee has informed that a press conference, which would also be attended by Monika, would be held at Manipur Press Club tomorrow.

During the press conference, the Co-ordinating Committee would be announcing its further course of action to be taken up.