On a day when three of the Commonwealth Games medallists flew back amidst fanfare, the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) has been put on the defensive by one of its own.
Prakash Nanjappa, Ayonika Paul and Anisa Sayyed – who won silver in their respective disciplines – were greeted by fans and relatives after they landed. But the results from the shooting ranges have been put to shade by the erring official, who has embarrassed the NRAI no less.
A junior shotgun coach, Ahrarul Hasan Chowdhry was hauled up by the customs at the Indira Gandhi International Airport for carrying undeclared ammunition.
Chowdhary wasn’t part of the Commonwealth games team. He was returning with the team that participated in the Junior Shotgun Cup in Finland and was caught with cartridges that he did not declare. Chowdhary was stopped while trying to exit through the green channel – which is meant for passengers not having any dutiable goods or other items for which declaration is required.
As per Customs rule, “walking through the Green Channel with dutiable / prohibited/ restricted goods by passengers is an offence which may result in seizure, confiscation, prosecution/arrest and penal action.”
On being confronted he admitted he was carrying the ammunition, which were then confiscated pending further inquiry.
Chowdhary, who was on his way to Aligarh, claimed his innocence and said he was allowed to go and that he would collect the ammunition after a few days. “I only had 100 cartridges and I think I will have to pay duty on half of them and once that is done, I will be in the clear. Once I complete the paperwork I will come back and collect it from them,” Chowdhary told The Indian Express.
But the NRAI, without pointing fingers at Chowdhry, made it amply clear that it was unethical on the part of Chowdhry. “A coach cannot carry ammunition, not for his personal use,” said NRAI treasurer, Sanjeev Bahl. However, custom officials are tight lipped about the development. “I am not aware of this incident,” deputy commissioner Sandip Rawal said.