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Shooting favours, NRAI in a trap over certification

other Updated: Mar 29, 2012 02:31 IST
Saurabh Duggal

If you are well connected within the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI), the governing body of shooting in the country will not mind going to any extent for you. It will even be willing to tamper with the grading of any international tournament just so that you benefit the most.

The NRAI issued a certificate to Bikramjit Singh Dhillon,

son of national selector and coaching panel member TS Dhillon, certifying that the exposure tournaments for juniors — the 2006 international junior shooting competition in Germany and the 2007 Meeting of Shooting Hopes in Czech Republic — he had competed in were equal to the World Cup and junior world championships, respectively.

In both the junior international competitions, only five to 15 countries participate, whereas the two world championships are prestigious tournaments that see participation from anywhere between 50 and 70 countries.

Last year, Bikramjit had applied for the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Award, Punjab's highest sports award, attaching certificates issued by NRAI equating the vastly mismatched tournaments in order to acquire points meant for the World Cup and junior world championships, instead of the junior exposure competitions he actually competed in.

Baljit Singh Sethi, then NRAI secretary general and currently adviser to the association, issued a contentious merit certificate on September 10, 2008, putting the junior exposure competitions on par with the World Cup, which often serves as a qualifying event for the Olympics.

Then on June 5, 2011, NRAI's office went a step further ahead, this time equating the two competitions to the quadrennial junior world championships, as "a large number of shooters from many countries across the world participate in these competitions".

In the web
But the website of the International Shooting Sport Federation, the global governing body of shooting, clearly indicates that in the international junior competition held in Germany in 2011, there were participants from just 15 countries, while in 2010, the number was even lesser.

When contacted, Sethi said, "The events in both Germany and Czech Republic are the only competitions for juniors, so I don't think that there is anything wrong in equating them with the World Cup or junior world championships."