Sports authorities, players protest against militancy in Manipur

November 14th, 2007 - 2:41 am ICT by admin  
When Marykom of Manipur won the gold medal in the World Women’s Boxing Championship in Delhi last year, she brought laurels for the country and Manipur in particular.

But the militants who claim to fight for Manipur’s pride are actually killing the honour of the state by stifling the sports’ authorities.

These officials went on strike against the extortion demands served on them by an underground group.

“We have told them that we don’t have money. We are scarifying for our job only and for the achievement of our player. We are giving our effort to bring up our player to national and international level. Besides, they are demanding high amount,” said, a sports official.

Sport stadiums and playgrounds, were empty. At a time, when the state players are preparing for next year’s Asian games and Commonwealth Game, the sudden break in practice has been a big blow not only to the players but also for the state.

“We are fighting for the future. We want to do some good for our state and for the country. We are practicing day and night. We don’t have any option,” said one of the players.

Another player added, “We have been affected a lot. Our daily playing session has been disturbed due to the demand by some groups.”

Last month, sports person and officials in Manipur also came out on the streets to protest against the harassment meted out by the underground groups.

In the absence of large scale industries and adequate employment avenues, sports are the only area where talented youngsters find a living.

For Manipuris, sports are a means to socio economic upliftment, but the act as brakes on the ambitions and growth of the young generation.

“If I don’t pay the demand, I am not secure. As long as I pay the demand, I am secure,” a player, said.

Manipur is a hub of sporting talents. Take any football club in the country and you will find five or six players who are Manipuris.

The state today has the largest number of medal holders as the last two National games have proved. This strength in sports has come despite a lack of proper infrastructure.

It’s the sheer zest for the game and a desire to change their socio economic lives, that drive Manipuris but the underground groups want to put an end to this march to progress. (ANI)

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