Shooter Heena Sidhu has backed out from the 9th Asian Airgun Shooting Championships slated to be held in December in Tehran pointing that she did not like the dress code for women at the event, The Times of India reported.
"Forcing tourists or foreign guests to wear a hijab is not a sporting thing. I don't like it, so I pulled out," Heena told TOI.
According to the custodial laws of Iran, women are supposed to wear a hijab in the shooting range and at public places.
"You are practising your religion, let me practise mine. If you are forcing your religious beliefs on me, then I don't want to compete," says Heena disagreeing to the laws though other shooters in the Indian team are ready to comply with the rules.
"Women's clothing in the shooting range and public places is required to conform to the rules and regulations of I. R. Iran," the official tournament website dress code read.
We have good ties with the Iranian shooting federation and we respect their culture and tradition. Whoever goes to Iran- tourists or diplomats- wears the hijab. Except Heena, all other Indian women shooters have accepted itRaninder Singh, president of National Rifle Association of India
Heena has withdrawn earlier from events stating issues with the dress code. In 2013, Heena backed from the 6th Asian Air Gun Championships held at Iran, because of dress code issues.
The event in Iran, where the female shooters will have to wear a headscarf during the competition will need a different kind of practice. I am not used it and to get used to it I will have to practice for a minimum of three weeks. It will require a special kind of training and time dedicated specifically for itHeena told Mumbai Mirror
The pistol shooter at the time was recovering from a neck and shoulder injury and said that "instead of wasting my time and energy on preparing for the event in Iran, I would rather complete my rehabilitation".