Time running out for shooters: Sethi
National Rifle Shooting Association has warned that if the shortage of ammunition is not overcome, the country should forget about getting a medal at the Beijing Olympics.
NRAI secretary general Baljit Singh Sethi, who is here for the Asian Clay Shooting Championship starting on February 21, said a way to import ammunition should be found out soon otherwise there will be no hope left for Indian shooters.
"We have taken a loan from the shooters to conduct the Asian Clay Shooting Championship and if some ammunition is left, we may try to hold some camps. But something has to be done quickly. We can't continue with loan and the shooters too are exhausted now."
Sethi refused to take the blame and said Sports Authority of India and Sports Ministry were to blame.
"It is their internal problem. The SAI has been importing ammunition for 20 years but for the past 2-3 years, the problem has cropped up. We don't believe in the reimbursement promises and need advance. We gave a loan to them in 1999 but got the reimbursement came after seven years," he said.
"Recently too, when there was problem of import we gave loan to them for running the camps," Sethi said.
"We had applied for a licence as early as June and then in September. It has not been granted to us till now. This is failure of the Sports Ministry," he said.
Sethi also trained his guns at Sports Minister Mani Sahankar Aiyar saying his comments had demoralised shooters.
"If there had been no shortage of ammunition, at least 15 shooters would have qualified for the Olympics,"claimed Sethi.