Ankait Tomar, a prominent pistol shooter in India, has been removed from the Indian contingent scheduled for the ISSF World Championships in Baku. This decision comes as a result of a minor scuffle that occurred between Tomar and another shooter. Tomar's father revealed that this incident led to his exclusion just a week before the departure of the contingent.
Ankait Tomar, aged 21, who excels in center-fire pistol shooting, became aware of his removal on August 7 when he noticed the absence of his name and weapon details on the list of shooters heading to Baku, Azerbaijan.
The ISSF World Championships, which started on August 14, are set to conclude on September 1.
Consequences of Past Altercation
Tomar had previously been involved in a minor altercation during the ISSF World Junior Championships held in Changwon, South Korea, in July. This earlier incident appears to have had a bearing on his exclusion from the current championships in Baku.
During the Changwon event, Tomar had won the team gold in the 50m pistol category alongside Kamaljeet and Sandeep Bishnoi.
Appeal and NRAI Response
Attempting to seek clarity regarding his exclusion, Tomar reached out to the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI). The NRAI communicated that he would not be permitted to participate in any competition until a decision from the disciplinary committee was reached.
Tomar fervently appealed to expedite the committee's decision, underlining the urgency due to the imminent departure of the team for Baku.
Tomar pleaded with the NRAI to expedite the disciplinary committee hearing saying, "It's my future (in) question. I request you to please take a decision tomorrow as very little time is left (for the team departing for Baku).
"I want to play in Baku as this is my future and I am performing my best, you can check my scores," Tomar wrote in his e-mail to NRAI secretary Rajiv Bhatia, a copy of which is with PTI.
The shooter has been served a show-cause notice by the NRAI, but Tomar father Davinder Tomar said his son is yet to be called for a hearing, leaving him "disturbed" and "anxious about his future in shooting".
Tomar has mentioned two incidents in his letter to NRAI where he erred on the disciplinary side in Changwon.
Tomar's Account of Incidents
In his apology letter he wrote, "The incident was that we decided to go to a restaurant (in Changwon) and after coming back from there Unish said I spent a lot of money, we said him don't shout (speak slowly).
"In irritation he pushed me. I've noticed, he often takes action in aggression and it was exchange of words. There was a little bit of manhandling, Unish got overaggressive and we just did out of self defence," wrote Tomar in his reply to NRAI (sic).
"After the fight, we all 4 friends apologised to each other and sort out the matter after that, we stayed together (sic)."
Tomar further wrote that he was not at all involved in the second incident.
"In the other incident that happened was in my room. When I came back from dinner and entered my room, there were two girls sitting along with my room partner and then in one corner I sit in the chair and started using my phone. In that case, I only saw that 5-6 shooters came in the room and two of them started fighting.
"I haven't been in between them or say anything or touched anyone, there was an issue in my payment, that's why I was busy in my phone and was not able to see the full incident," Tomar wrote.
A coach, accompanying the team too "has resigned" in the wake of the incident for "standing up to defend my son", according to Davinder.