IMPHAL: Ace boxer Mary Kom's husband Onler Karong has sparked a controversy after he expressed dissatisfaction over the looks of a statue of her wife, which was recently erected at a park near here.
Nineteen statues of the state's Olympians, including that of Mary Kom, were recently installed at Manipur Olympic Park.
Onler Karong, in an interview with a local newspaper, claimed that the statue which was erected there does not look like his wife, six times World Women's Boxing Champion and 2012 London Olympic Bronze Medallist.
Onler Karong or Mary Kom could not be contacted despite repeated efforts.
However, while talking 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 is yet to be fixed. When contacted, officials of the CMO told PTI that they will not speak about the issue.
"It is his (Onler) personal opinion," Jimmy said. Jimmy said his sister returned home from a tour and got to know about the development only on Wednesday, he said.
"There is a concern that Onler's statement might be misinterpreted as the statues were installed to honour our state's athletes," Jimmy said.
Two days back, before the matter came to the fore, Chief Minister N Biren Singh had on his official Facebook page said that the Park "is all set for inauguration. Everyone can now witness the statues of our legendary Olympians, the pride of our Nation."
"The Manipur Olympian Park was constructed in honour of our Olympians from Manipur who have brought laurels for the Nation. Not only will this place become a major tourist attraction but also inspire the youths to achieve greater heights in life," he said in a separate post.