The Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) on Friday warned its shooters against participating in any unsanctioned tournament and said their scores will not be considered for selection if they do so.
The PCI also criticised the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) for “creating confusion” by issuing circulars about re-starting para matches during its National Championships.
The NRAI, after banning the participation of para shooters in state, zonal and national championships in 2019, recently decided to re-start competitions for them, shocking the PCI. The NRAI also started inviting entries from para shooters recently for its zonal meets, leading to a confusing situation for athletes with special abilities.
READ MORE | Indian sports news wrap, August 11
The PCI, in a statement issued by its secretary-general Gursharan Singh on Friday, said, “If you (para shooters) are playing in any events or championship other than conducted by the Paralympic Committee of India, then your scores during the said championship/events will not be considered for any championship/events conducted by Paralympic Committee of India at National level or any WSPS (World Shooting Para Sport Championships) approved international competitions.” PCI also said that any federation or association conducting para shooting events without its approval will be deemed “unauthorised”.
“This is further to clear you all (para shooters) that all the recent circulars/intimations circulated by NRAI through their website or different social media groups are without taking any approval from the PCI (Paralympic Committee of India).
“This act of creating confusion among the para shooters is condemned by the PCI and conducting para shooting events without our approval is unauthorized. It is informed that all these competitions would be termed as invitational competitions and para shooters are permitted to participate for getting ‘Renowned Shot’ certificate only.” A shooter is deemed ‘Renowned Shot’ if he/she shoots a ‘Minimum Qualification Score’ (MQS) during national championships, which makes him eligible for importing arms and ammunition.
The NRAI is the sole authority in the country, which can give approval to ‘Renowned Shot’ marksmen to import guns and ammunition for the purpose of sport and competition.
The PCI too has raised the issue several times but it hasn’t got the government approval to import arms and ammunition for its para shooters.
The PCI also made it mandatory for its shooters to participate in all its Zonal, National Championships and selection trials in order to participate in international events.
The PCI is the only authorised federation in India, having mandate from WSPS, International Paralympic Committee to conduct para shooting events in India and simultaneously send the entries of Para Shooters to the WSPS (World Shooting Para Sports), IPC (International Paralympic Committee of India) approved International competitions,” said Gursharan in his statement.
The NRAI had issued a letter on August 8 saying the Sports Ministry had asked it to restart para matches during its National Championships, to facilitate para shooters to “get their import permits for import of arms and ammunition which are essential for their training and competitions”.
“The Governing Body of NRAI approved the proposal of re-starting para category in its all competitions at State/Pre National and National championship,” NRAI had said in its statement.
NRAI senior vice president Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo had said in a statement that, “The NRAI is open to any discussion with PCI on conduct of para category matches and will incorporate any suggestion of PCI to facilitate para shooters and para shooting sport.”
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