The pending visas of the Indian contingent for the World Shooting Para Sport World Cup at Chateauroux, France, next week were cleared on Saturday after initial rejection due to last minute intervention by the Indian government. (More Sports News)
Six members of the contingent, including double Paralympic medallist Singharaj Adhana, were initially denied visas to travel to France, despite the intervention of the Indian government.
But the Sports Authority of India (SAI) later in the day said that the visas of the remaining members of the contingent have been cleared by the French Embassy after the Sports Ministry and the Ministry of External Affairs intervened for the second time.
"The pending visas of 3 athletes and 4 support staff of the Indian Para Shooters contingent going to France for competition has been cleared by the French embassy after further requests from MYAS and MEA. The team will fly out to France tomorrow," the SAI said in a tweet.
Got visas, going tomorrow 😊— Avani Lekhara अवनी लेखरा PLY (@AvaniLekhara) June 4, 2022
Have gratitude for everything that happens in life!
I would like to thank @ianuragthakur sir, @DrSJaishankar sir, @KirenRijiju sir, @IndiaSports, @Media_SAI, @MEAIndia @FranceinIndia @ParalympicIndia for such great support to us athletes.Jai Hind 🇮🇳 https://t.co/ar4qmHTfKi
The Indian team is expected to be able to reach France on time for the event as it starts on June 6 as per the schedule given in International Paralympic Committee website.
The matter relating to the denial of visas came to light after Tokyo Paralympic Games gold medallist shooter Avani Lekhara took to twitter, seeking help following denial of visa to her escort and mother Shewata Jewaria and coach Rakesh Manpat.
Avani later confirmed the clearance of visas by the French Embassy in New Delhi.
"Got visas, going tomorrow. Have gratitude for everything that happens in life!" she tweeted.
Earlier, talking to PTI from the airport, chief national coach and chairman of Indian Para Shooting Jai Prakash Nautiyal said Lekhara and her coach Manpat's visas were cleared.
"Avani and her coach's visas were granted but her escort, who is also her mother, didn't get her visa," Nautiyal said.
"Besides, three para shooters -- Singharaj, Rahul Jhakhar and Deepinder Singh (all para pistol shooters) and two coaches Subhas Rana (national coach) and Vivek Saini (assistant coach) did not get their visas.
"The French embassy didn't mention any reason, simply said there is a huge surge for visas. We applied for our visas on April 23 and were sure of getting all cleared. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) also intervened and were helping us but despite that visas of six members were rejected," he added.
The event is of significance for Indian para shooters as Paris Paralympics quota places were on offer there.
"We are now going with a 22-member contingent, which includes 14 shooters. We were quite confident of getting visas of all members cleared since Paris will be the host for the next Paralympics and there are 18 quota places on offer at the 2024 Paralympics," Nautiyal said.