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Customs Department promises smooth passage for shooters after meeting NRAI

Indian shooters had earlier been detained by the Customs Department at the New Delhi airport, despite having valid weapons clearance documents

other sports Updated: May 19, 2017 00:03 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi
NRAI,Customs Department,Prashant Bishnoi
Gurpreet Singh, who won the team gold in 25m standard pistol at the Grand Prix of Liberation championships, was among the shooters who had earlier been detained by the Customs Department at the Indira Gandhi International Airport .(Getty Images)

Following a meeting between the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) and Customs Department, it was agreed that the national shooting squad will not face problems on arrival from international competitions if they have the necessary documents.

Ahead of the national shooting team’s departure for the May 17-24 World Cup in rifle and pistol at Munich, Germany, NRAI had a meeting with Amandeep Singh, additional commissioner of Customs at IGI airport.

“There was some ambiguity but the confusion was cleared after the meeting. We expect smooth passage for the squad in future as the customs official has been briefed about the international shooting calendar,” Rajeev Bhatia, secretary NRAI told HT.

On May 9, when the national team arrived from Europe here at the IGI airport, it was detained by the Customs Department despite having valid weapons clearance documents. The shooters were stranded for over eight hours.

READ | Abhinav Bindra lashes out at NRAI after shooters stranded at Delhi Airport

An NRAI official said the disconcerting situation arose after Prashant Bishnoi, a national level shooter from Meerut, was caught running an illegal arms rackets. “He was under scanner and the administration became suspicious of other shooters too,” he added.

Before the team departs for any international meet, the Customs Department endorses NRAI’s letter having details of shooters’ weapons. It is countersigned on arrival. “The same practice will be followed in future. There will be no change,” Bhatia added.

However, individual shooters eligible to import firearms can’t bring in their baggage via international flights as there is still some confusion on that front. “Those shooters having import papers should prefer importing weapons through cargo. Otherwise, there is a possibility of facing problems,” said the NRAI official.

First Published: May 18, 2017 23:14 IST