Indian shooter stranded at airport as Air India refuses to allow weapon

Sam George Sajan, who was part of the Indian shooting contingent from the ISSF Junior World Cup in Sydney, was left stranded at Delhi airport as Air India refused to allow his rifle.

Sam George Sajan was part of the Indian team that participated in the ISSF Junior World Cup in Sydney. (Representational Image)   -  Getty Images (Representative Image)

A member of the successful Indian shooting contingent from the ISSF Junior World Cup in Sydney, Sam George Sajan of Madurai was stranded at the Delhi airport while trying to fly home, as Air India refused to allow his rifle.

All efforts by the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) and other authorities failed to convince the official of the airline, and the concerned shooter had to be sent to the Nehru Stadium for overnight stay.

"His flight was Air India Express. His fresh ticket has been issued from Delhi to Chennai for tomorrow morning. NRAI will take it up with DGCA and the airline management directly and also through the Sports Ministry," said the general secretary of the NRAI, D. V. Seetharama Rao.

The secretary of the Madurai Rifle Association, S. Vel Shankar, recalled that the shooter had flown Air India Express with three weapons earlier, and had never faced any problem.

"The ticket was done by Balmer Lawrie, the government agency, and he had carried the weapon in the onward journey by the same airlines," Vel Shankar said.