New Delhi [India], September 27 (ANI): Amid the controversy around China's refusal to grant regular visas to three Wushu thletes from Arunachal Pradesh, who were picked to represent India at the ongoing 19th Asian Games, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Wednesday labelled the incident "shameful" and called on the Centre to register a strong protest with Chinese officials in Beijing.
The Congress leader demanded that China be denied the right to host any future international sporting contest untill they permit every accredited athlete to enter their country with valid visas and participate in sporting events.
"While everyone is rightly celebrating the medals that India is winning daily at the Hangzhou AsianGames, let's not forget that China disgracefully refused to allow three Indian athletes entry into their country because they were born in Arunachal Pradesh," Tharoor posted on X on Wednesday.
The Congress leader lamented that the three Wushu players will not have a chance to win medals or share in the joy of the success of fellow Indians in the event.
"China's conduct is shameful and when the Games are over, India should protest officially and demand that the country be denied the right to host any future international sporting contest until they permit every accredited athlete to enterparticipate," the Congress MP added.
The three players from Arunachal Pradesh- Nyeman Wangsu, Onilu Tega and Mepung Lamgu were supposed to participate in individual matches at the Guali Cultural and Sports Centre in Xiaoshan district.
Labelling this action as discriminatory, Sports Minister Anurag Thakur cancelled his visit to China as a mark of protest while emphasizing that it goes against the Olympic Charter, a stance deemed "unacceptable" by India.
Union Minister asserted that Arunachal Pradesh (Which China claims to be its part) is an integral part of India.
"It is not acceptable to India and I have cancelled my trip to China on these grounds as they have denied the opportunity to the players from Arunachal Pradesh to be a part of the Asian Games. Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India," Thakur told reporters earlier in the month.
Hailing from Arunachal Pradesh, Onilu and Mepung, who were approved to participate by the Hangzhou Asian Games 2023 Organising Committee, were unable to download their accreditation cards, which act as visas to enter China.
The third athlete Nyeman, who managed to download her accreditation, was informed that she would not be allowed to travel beyond Hong Kong. The athletes were to take part in individual events of the martial arts sport.
Condemning the Chinese, Union Minister Kiren Rijiju had said that the act violates both the spirit of Sports and the Rules governing the conduct of the Asian Games.
Coming out in support of the three athletes, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) said they were taking the utmost care of them at this hour.
"The 3 athletes are being taken care of at the SAI Hostel," SAI wrote in a tweet. (ANI)