Wounds over Monika fester; YAS office sealed, Biren soothes frayed nerves
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, September 03: Venting their ire against the alleged discriminatory attitude to weightlifter Laishram Monika Devi, women in hundreds today picketed at the office of State's Youth Affairs and Sports (YAS) Department and sealed the same office today by locking its main gate.

The impasse, however, ended without any major incident after Sports Minister N Biren rushed to the YAS office located in Khuman Lampak Sports Complex and sought three days' time to urge the Central Government authorities for an immediate stand and clarification on the sordid conduct of SAI and IOA officials and action ased on the enquiry report of former Chief Election Commissioner TS Krishnamurthy.

The Minister reportedly assured to take up the matter at the next meeting of the State Cabinet in addition to insisting that a joint meeting along with representatives of organisations concerned would be hosted after the arrival of L Monika.

Following the Minister's intervention the agitators reopened the YAS gate.

Earlier, the protestors under the banner of the 'Coordinating Committee Against the Conspiracy to Exclude Monika from Beijing Olympics by the Governmet of India converged at the YAS office gate demanding that the Krishnamurthy probe findings be made public and the guilty ones punished accordingly.

As per account of a key member of the Committee namely AK Janaki the former CEC, entrusted to investigate into the L Monika Devi issue, had submitted his report to the Union Sports Minister MS Gill on September 1 and rather than initiate action the Minister has taken leave for 15 days thereby amounting to delaying tactics and denial of justice.

Expressing that with the Central Govt seemingly reluctant to initiate appropriate action against the guilty officials of Indian Olympic Association and Sports Authority.of India based on the Krishnamurthy report the YAS office had been picketed and locked, Janaki maintained.

Monika's elder sister L Mamta Devi, who was also among the agitators, said only after the erring IOA and SAI officials are punished there would be satisfaction as if Monika had competed in the Beijing Games.

Monika, herself is slated to arrive´┐Żat Imphal tomorrow from Guwahati, where the Nachou native had joined a protest march denouncing alleged politicising of sports administration and selection exercise in the country.