Shooter Prithviraj cleared to fly from Chennai to Doha

Trap shooter Prithviraj Tondaiman was cleared by the authorities at the Chennai airport after stopping him from boarding a flight to Doha for carrying a gun despite him carrying all the requisite documents.

According to Prithiviraj, despite having all the requisite documents, the airplane staff curtly told him that “we don’t allow weapons.”   -  Special Arrangement

India’s trap shooter Prithviraj Tondaiman, who was stopped from boarding the flight to Doha from Chennai carrying a gun by Indigo airline staff on Thursday morning (12.30 a.m.), citing “security” reasons, was cleared by the staff  today (around 10.30 p.m.). The 32-year-old will take part in the Qatar Open to be held in Doha from February 22 to 24.

Prithiviraj thanked the media for its support. “If not for the media taking up the issue, things wouldn’t have moved so fast,” he said.

Earlier on Wednesday morning at around 11 p.m., Prithiviraj was stopped from boarding the Indigo flight by a staff saying “we don’t allow weapons” despite the shooter possessing all the required documents.

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The shooter then had to call up the Sports Ministry to help him. Apparently, the Indigo General Manager received a call from the Ministry and by the time the staff understood the gravity of the situation, the time was around 12 a.m. (the flight departure time was at 12.30 a.m. on Thursday) and obviously it was too late. And Prithviraj had to return home very disappointed and tired.

Speaking to Sportstar, Prithviraj said it was entirely due to “ignorance of the staff.”

In fact, the rest of the Indian contingent had left Doha from New Delhi on Wednesday by the same Indigo flight, showing the same documents that Prithviraj did.

Qatar Open is important for the simple reason that the Asian championships will be held in September at the same venue. “It will help us get acclimatise to the conditions,” said Prithviraj.