A missing kabaddi player from India last seen in Abbotsford has resurfaced in Montreal.
Liakat Ali, a kabaddi player contracted to participate in a number of tournaments across Canada, disappeared after he was dropped off in Abbotsford on Aug. 10.
Ali, who was sponsored by an Edmonton club, was scheduled to play in an Abbotsford tournament the following weekend but did not show up.
Police were concerned when the visiting athlete went off the grid, as it wasn't clear if the 24-year-old was in danger, avoiding immigration or simply visiting relatives.
However, the Abbotsford Police Department has been informed that Ali presented himself to Citizenship and Immigration Canada officials in Montreal on Sept. 12.
At the time he went missing, Ali had a visa that was valid until September, the APD said.
It's not clear that in contacting immigration whether Ali is simply informing authorities of his whereabouts, trying to extend his visa or making some sort of immigration or refuge claim.
Ali's disappearance wasn't the first time a kabaddi player has gone missing while visiting Canada.
CIC revoked a streamlined visa process for foreign kabaddi players after a large number went missing in 2011.
The visa program was instigated after kabaddi federations increased their requests for athlete visas in 2010, according to the ministry.
But an inordinate number of refugee claims afterward raised concern over whether the applicants were legitimate. Of the 670 visas issued to kabaddi players in 2011, there were 27 refugee claims and 91 people who did not report back to the visa office as required by the program, according to CIC.
Players visiting for the 2012 kabaddi season now must apply through regular channels for temporary visas.
The people who went missing in 2011 were largely hosted by clubs in Alberta and Ontario.
However, the Abbotsford Sports Kabaddi Club has brought players to the community from India for nearly a decade without any problems, said director Balraj Sangha in late August.
According to Wikipedia, in kabaddi two teams occupy opposite halves of a small swimming pool/field and take turns sending a "raider" into the other half to win points by tackling members of the opposing team; then the raider tries to return to his own half, holding his breath and chanting the word "Kabaddi" during the entire raid.