Controversy after Mary Kom’s husband questions the look of the boxer statue

Top boxer Mary Kom’s husband, Onler Karong, has sparked controversy after expressing his dismay at the appearance of a statue of his wife, which was recently erected in a park.

Nineteen statues of the state’s Olympians, including Mary Kom’s, have recently been installed in the Manipur Olympic Park. Onler Karong claimed in an interview with a local newspaper that the statue erected there bears no resemblance to his wife, a six-time world women’s boxing champion and Olympic bronze medalist of the 2012 London Olympics. Despite repeated attempts, Onler Karong or Mary Kom could not be contacted.

However, speaking to PTI, her brother Jimmy Kom claimed that the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) assured him that the statue will be replaced before the inauguration of the park, the date of which has yet to be determined.

When contacted, CMO officials told PTI they would not discuss the matter.

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“It’s his (Onler’s) personal opinion,” Jimmy said.

Jimmy said his sister came home from a tour and didn’t learn about the development until Wednesday, he said.

“There is concern that Onler’s statement could be misinterpreted as the statues were installed to honor our state’s athletes,” Jimmy said.

Two days ago, before the matter came forward, Prime Minister N Biren Singh had said on his official Facebook page that the park is “completely ready for inauguration. Everyone can now witness the statues of our legendary Olympians, the pride of our nation.”

“The Manipur Olympian Park was built in honor of our Olympians from Manipur who brought laurels to the nation. This place will not only become a major tourist attraction but will also inspire the youth to reach greater heights in life,” he said in a separate post.

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