New Delhi, Apr 02: Minister of Information and Broadcasting and President of All India Football Federation (AIFF), Priyaranjan Dasmunsi, has said that Baichung Bhutia's decision to not to participate in Beijing Olympic Torch relay is on personal grounds and not related to AIFF and football fraternity. The Beijing Olympic Torch relay is expected to be received by Indian Olympic Association on April 17.
Dasmunsi said that Bhutia was invited to grace the occasion, which is also an honour to the Football fraternity, but he expressed his desire not to take part the function, for personal reasons which is purely an expression of his Fundamental Right. He said that China and India are two important nations in the globe as well as great friends and partners of socio-economic progress. “The Government of India is engaged in further strengthening the ties through several bilateral initiatives. We all welcome the Beijing Olympic Games and participation of India in the said event including the torch relay," Dasmunsi added.
He said that Bhutia hails from Sikkim and his concern on Lhasa incident is a concern of any other human rights activist or social activist or cultural legacy of the monks, etc. against the violence. “I had a telephonic talk with Bhutia and we understood his sentiments," he said.