NRAI bans two shooters for mental harassment

 National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) on Saturday handed two shooters one-year and six-month bans respectively even though they were absolved of charges of sexual harassment.

The two shooters were slapped the bans for “mental harassment involving incidences of abusive and indecent language”. They have been banned from all international and national tournaments till their suspension period ends.

Acting on the recommendations of the six-member probe committee headed by ace shooter Anjali Bhagwat, the NRAI also reprimanded three other marksmen for “abetting the wrongdoings”. 

The woman shooter, who had made the complaint, was also reprimanded.

It all started after a woman shooter, selected to participate for a trap event in international junior shooting competition at Suhl, Germany, last month, had complained to the NRAI and Sports Ministry accusing two of her team members of making sexual and derogatory comments.

Acting swiftly, the NRAI suspended the two shooters while recommending a probe committee to go into the details.  “Based on our interaction with shooters, coaches and officials, we came to the conclusion that whatever transpired cannot be construed as verbal sexual harassment in any way. At worst, there seems to be a case of mental harassment involving incidences of loud, abusive and indecent language directed against a WW (woman shooter) over an argument or two, which appears more like teasing and bullying tactics that are common among teenagers,” the committee said.

“We recommend that ZZ be suspended for 12 months from participating in any national or international competitive shooting events,” according to the report. “We recommend that YY be suspended for a period of 6 months or until the Nationals (NSCC) whichever is earlier, from participating in any national or international competitive shooting events. He shall be under close observation on any future tours,’’ the report stated.

Regarding the shooters reprimanded for “abetting the wrongdoings”, the committee said, “The remaining group of boys, viz. BB, PP & AA, seems to have    abetted the wrongdoings either with active participation or passive indifference. They have been party to breaching the dos and dont’s instructed by the Team Manager from day one of the competition.”

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