Take up stapled visa issue with China: Archery body asks government

New Delhi, Oct 11 (IANS) The Archery Association of India (AAI) Friday denounced China for giving stapled visas to two archers from Arunachal Pradesh, calling it as an affront to India's sovereignty and integrity.

AAI president Vijay Kumar Malhotra said China has indulged in such mischievous activities far too often challenging the territorial integrity of India. The Chinese embassy has issued stapled visas for Indian citizens hailing from Jammu and Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh even in the past.

Malhotra said China's action assumes significance as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is slated to visit the country later this month.

"What does China want to convey to the Indian government just before the prime minister's visit to Beijing," said Malhotra a day after young archers Maselo Mihu and Sorang Yumi were not allowed to board the flight to China owing to their stapled visas.

They were part of the 24-member contingent for the Youth World Archery Championships to be held Oct 13-20 in Wuxi, China.

Malhotra asked the External Affairs ministry to seek clarification from the Chinese Embassy for not allowing the compound archers to take part in the competition. "There has to be a measured and comprehensive response to these Chinese dirty tricks from the Indian Government."

AAI had applied for visa for 24 archers and six officials. All of them were given proper visas except for the two archers from Arunachal Pradesh.

"It is time for India to call this Chinese bluff," Malhotra added.

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