Imphal, Sep 11 : Hundreds of students took to the streets here on Wednesday to demand a fair probe into the doping charges against weightlifter Monika Devi, who was denied a berth in the Indian squad for the Beijing Olympics.
Carrying placards, the protesters shouted slogans against the Sports Authority of India (SAI) charging it with discrimination against people hailing from the remote regions.
"We hope that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will enquire in a right manner. We hope to do some good things but, the main thing is that we want to stand united and we want to struggle against this kind of discrimination, especially sportspersons. We want to have full dignity," said Ashirjit, the president of the Democratic Students Alliance of Manipur.
The protesters felt that Monica was denied an opportunity to display her talent before the world.
"We feel very sorry for Monika because she was discriminated against in front of the world stage. She wasn't given a chance to participate or show her talent on the world stage. So, we feel discriminated against by the Government. That is why we are here to show that we don't agree with what the Government is doing with her," said Kanchana Laishram, a protestor.
Monika Devi was withdrawn from the Beijing Olympics after she failed to pass a dope test at home. The lifter pleaded her innocence. The Indian Weightlifting Federation also criticised the SAI, claiming that the doping test was faulty.
The Sports Ministry has ordered an internal inquiry to ascertain the truth and the CBI has registered a case following a demand to this effect by Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh.