Union Minister Kiren Rijiju honours NE sports icons, 5 from poll-bound Manipur

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NEW DELHI, Feb 28: Amid model code in force in Manipur, five sportspersons from this poll-bound state in Northeast India and two others from the region including Olympic gymnast Dipa Karmakar were felicitated by the Centre and given cash prizes on Tuesday.

Besides Karmakar, Indian women hockey captain P Sushila Chanu, Olympian L Bombayla Devi (archery), H Lal Ruatfeli (hockey, women), K Chinglensan Singh (hockey, men), K Kothajit Singh (hockey, men) and Saikhom Mirabai Chanu (weightlifting) were given cash prizes of Rs 2 lakh each for their outstanding performance.

Dipa hails from Tripura and Ruatfeli is from Mizoram.

They were honoured by Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju at a special function.

Rijiju, who hails from Arunachal Pradesh, strongly defended the move to honour the sportspersons from the North-east saying the event was planned six months ago and it has nothing to do with March 4 and 8 Assembly elections in Manipur.

The event was attended by two Congress MPs – Vincent Pala (Shillong), Ninong Ering (Arunachal -East) – and National Peoples Partys Conrad Sangma (Tura) besides Minister for DoNER Jitendra Singh.

(Agencies)