Tuesday, March 18, 2003

India pulls out of Malaysia tournament

NEW DELHI: India has pulled out of the upcoming Sultan Azlan Shah hockey tournament in Malaysia over the alleged ill-treatment of Indian software professionals in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur.
“We have pulled out of the tournament due to a direction from the Indian government because of the harassment of Indian computer professionals in Malaysia,” an Indian Hockey Federation official told Reuters on Monday.
“The team was supposed to leave this evening, but we have held the players back,” he added.
Malaysian police last Sunday initially ordered 270 Indians out of a high-rise apartment building and then herded some 160, many of them handcuffed, into a police compound and a garage, where they had to wait for hours before most of them were freed.
Less than 10 were detained for passport irregularities in a police operation against illegal workers.
The Indian envoy in Malaysia had lodged a diplomatic protest over the incident.
“Over 200 Indian information technology professionals, who worked for Malaysian companies, were treated very badly. So the team is not going,” Navtej Serna, spokesman of the Indian foreign ministry, said.
The invitational tournament, also featuring traditional rivals Pakistan, will be held in Ipoh from March 22 to 30. —Reuters