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Shooters accuse each other of assault

A scuffle broke out at the North Calcutta Rifle Club on Monday morning between two upcoming woman shooters, one of them a gold medallist in last year’s nationals, that led to police complaints against one another.

Mampi Das, 18, who had made the headlines last year as India’s next Olympic medal hope after shooting a perfect 400/400 in a domestic 10-metre air rifle event, lodged a complaint accusing Kaushalya Mondal of assaulting her and denying her entry into the range.

An hour later, Kaushalya lodged a complaint accusing Mampi of assaulting her and throwing her pistol away.

“When I arrived at the range in the morning, officials and shooters refused to let me in and pushed me to the ground. They even manhandled my mother and hurled abuses at her when she came to my rescue,” Mampi told a news channel.

Sources in the Belgachhia club said the scuffle was over who would practise in a shooting lane. Kaushalya was taking a break between shots in lane 11 when Mampi allegedly demanded that she move to another lane.

“I was speaking to Mampi’s mother when she suddenly tossed away my pistol and slapped me. The pistol has been damaged and the grip has come loose. I do not know how I will compete in the upcoming national championship,” said Kaushalya.

The pistol belongs to veteran shooter Kuheli Gangulee, who mentors the teenager. “I suffered breathing problems when she (Mampi) hit me on the chest. I still can’t move my neck. She even taunted me about my background,” said Kaushalya, who was taken to RG Kar hospital.

The shooter was discharged after first aid.

“We had received complaints against Mampi in 2009 after which her father apologised in writing. A fight between shooters is unprecedented at the club. We need to take action against Mampi to maintain discipline,” Debranjan Mukherjee, the general secretary of the North Calcutta Rifle Club, told Metro after a meeting on Monday evening.

“Mampi needs a more disciplined approach to life. One can’t misbehave with people and expect support,” said Olympian Joydeep Karmakar, a member of the club. He reached the spot half an hour after the incident.

“Cases have been registered under IPC sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 341 (wrongful restraint). We have initiated an investigation,” said Dhrubojyoti De, deputy commissioner, eastern suburban division.