Five officials of the State Forest Department were booked by the Pune district rural police on Monday for allegedly holding a ‘liquor party’ in Shivneri fort in Junnar tehsil, 70 km from here.According to the police, the officials had indulged in inebriated revelry on Sunday night inside the fort premises on the eve of Shiv Jayanti celebrations. Maratha Warrior King Shivaji, who was born at the fort in 1630 C.E. had spent his childhood here.Some youths visiting the fort had filmed the officialsholding a drunken revelry in the fort premises. Junnar police detained the officials on seeing the clips. Two of them, Prakash Jadhav and Santosh Navgirhe, were suspended.With Junnar being actively promoted as the district’s ‘tourism tehsil’ , the officials had been assigned the task of upkeeping the fort premises and to prevent activities such as consuming alcoholic drinks on the premises.“A case has been registered against them under section 65 (e) of the Bombay Prohibition Act. While the officials were in the khaki uniform of policemen, they belonged to the State Forest Department,” said an officer from the Pune Rural Police.
Joining the list of BJP leaders linking modern developments with ancient India, Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma has claimed that journalism began during the time of the Mahabharata.Speaking at an event in Mathurs on Wednesday to mark ‘Hindi Journalism Day,’ the Minister cited various instances from the Indian epic to buttress his claim.He said the mythological character, Sanjaya, sitting in Hastinapur, gave Dhritarashtra a “bird’s eye view” of the war of Mahabharata. “Yeh live telecast nahi to aur kya hai? [If that is not live telecast, then what is it?),” Mr. Sharma said.Ancient India’s GoogleThe Minister also equated another mythological character, Narada, with the present-day Google. “Your Google has started only now. But our Google started a long time back. ‘Narad Muni’ was the epitome of information. He could reach anywhere and transfer a message from one place to another by chanting ‘Narayana’ three times,” he said.Several BJP leaders have earlier courted controversy by claiming that advance medical procedures like cataract and plastic surgery, nuclear tests and the internet were all available in ancient times.
Authorities imposed restrictions in parts of Kashmir on Saturday as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order on the eve of the second death anniversary of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, even as a strike called by separatists evoked mixed response in the Valley. Restrictions have been imposed in Tral township, in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, and in the Nowhatta and Maisuma police station areas of Srinagar — the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, a police official said. He said the curbs have been imposed as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order and to avoid any untoward incident. Wani, a resident of Tral, was killed in an encounter with security forces in the Kokernag area of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district on July 8, 2016. His killing triggered massive protests and prolonged period of curfews and shutdowns across the Valley. As many as 85 people were killed and thousand others were injured in clashes between security forces and protesters over four months. The official said security forces have been deployed in strength at sensitive places across the Valley. Meanwhile, the strike called by separatists against the shifting of Asiya Andrabi, the chief of radical women’s outfit Dukhtaran-e-Millat (DeM), to Delhi by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), evoked mixed response in the Valley today. The separatists, under the banner of Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), had on Friday called for a strike to protest the shifting of Andrabi and her colleagues. The JRL — comprising Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik — appealed to the people to “observe a complete shutdown and maintain civil curfew”.While shops and other establishments were shut in the city centre Lal Chowk here, business continued as usual in other areas of the city, the official said. He said public transport was sparse, but private cars, cabs and auto-rickshaws were plying in many areas of the city. The official said similar reports of a mixed response to the strike were received from other district headquarters of the Valley. Cracking a whip on separatist leaders ahead of Wani’s death anniversary, the police had on Friday detained Malik in a police station here, while Mirwaiz was put under house arrest. Geelani continued to remain under house detention.
The National Institute of Technology in Kurukshetra has warned its students against gate crashing weddings near its premises. “It has been reported that some of the students have been going to attend weddings in the city without having invitation. This is not only unethical and immoral but also uncalled for,” a letter sent to hostel inmates by the Chief Warden said. ComplaintsSources in the institute said that off late there have been complaints that students have been gate crashing weddings to skip meals in the mess which is why this directive was issued. The letter directed students to desist from indulging in such type of “uncivilised activities” which also brings a bad name to the institution.Disciplinary action The letter warned students of disciplinary action if they are found doing so. “Disciplinary action as per institute rules will be taken against the students if they are found indulging in such an activity, the letter said.
“Do you recognise me? I fought nine parliamentary elections, with both wins and losses. But why have I come to Muzaffarnagar to contest election, you tell me?”The question is directed at an audience of men and boys gathered around a Ravidas temple, a place of worship for Dalits, in Ladwa, a village in western Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar district.There are Dalits, Muslims, Jats, and OBC communities like Kashyaps/Dheevar in the audience, most of whom are seated on neatly arranged red plastic chairs or standing in clusters.Their eyes are locked at the makeshift stage, dressed in banners of three parties — Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and Rashtriya Lok Dal — where a bespectacled man wearing a white kurta-pyjama is standing holding the microphone. “I have come to Muzaffarnagar because you are responsible for bringing the BJP to power. You fought with each other and destroyed the bhaichara [brotherhood]. As a result of that you have to bear Modi today,” he says.New challengeNow 80, RLD chief Ajit Singh has had many ups and downs in his political career, but facing a steep downward curve since 2013, perhaps the stakes have never been higher for his party as they are in the 2019 election. Moving out from his traditional seat of Baghpat, Mr. Singh has played a gamble by deciding to contest from Muzaffarnagar, a constituency which was marred by communal violence in 2013, triggering a communal polarisation which eventually helped the BJP sweep the State. While he has an uphill task to overturn the deficit from 2014, when the BJP’s Sanjeev Balyan secured a massive 6.53 lakh votes (58.98%), his fight is bolstered by the support of the SP and the BSP. Mr. Singh is going from village to village addressing nukkad sabhas to connect with his new electorate in the sugar belt.“You want to bear Modi for five more years,” he asks the crowd at Ladwa. Some of them reply: “No, not any more.” Mr. Singh then says: “Maintain your bhaichara, and Modi will disappear. You did that in Kairana, didn’t the BJP lose?”The 2013 communal violence demolished the RLD’s carefully stitched decades old Jat-Muslim coalition. The results were clear in 2014; Mr. Singh himself stood a humiliating third from his bastion Baghpat.The Hindu followed Mr. Singh through his nukkad sabhas and found most of his attacks targeted at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, backed by his desire to restore the RLD’s lost social coalition. “Just defeating Modi won’t do. You will have to bury him. You will have to uproot him,” he tells the crowd, his fist smacking the air passionately.The audience bursts into claps and shouts of “Chaudhary Ajit Singh zindabad” resonating in the open venue. “Modi, your achhe din are gone, our achhe din are coming,” he declares.The Jat leader also uses witty one-liners to mock Mr. Modi on his persona and track-record, evoking laughter from the rural audience. “Bhaiya, if he [Mr. Modi] goes to Sri Lanka, he would return and say, I killed Ravan.” Another one-liner which generates a louder response from the audience is: “People say Modi lies a lot. He doesn’t lie, he just never speaks the truth.” Local supportAfter the sabha is over, Mr. Singh moves into his SUV and is quickly escorted away to a local supporter’s house where fruits have been laid out for his welcome. Saying no to hospitality is not an option in this part of western Uttar Pradesh, even though Mr. Singh is an hour behind schedule. After a quick interval, the cavalcade drives past sugarcane and wheat fields and reaches the house of a prominent RLD old-timer, a farmer, to pacify him. To secure his win, Mr. Singh would require to revive support of all such disgruntled loyalists and the farmer, despite not being in the best of health, is convinced to address a nukkad sabha for Mr. Singh at the next location, Titavi. Along the way, drum beats, shower of flowers and handshakes welcome the Jat veteran.At Titavi, Mr. Singh once again presses for communal unity among his core constituencies. He also explains to people the economic downfall caused by the riots and how the local steel rod factories are still shut. “I want to bring Muzaffarnagar back to the same position where it was before the riots,” he says.With the SP and BSP in alliance with the RLD, Mr. Singh has ensured consolidation of the Jatavs and Muslims, with the latter itself making up for 41% of the district population. That the combined vote of the SP, BSP and RLD in each of the five Assembly segments of Muzaffarnagar in 2017 polls had crossed 50% also presents a hope for him.However, to ensure a victory and galvanise his party, he faces the challenge of reviving his appeal among the Jats, a section of whom are still inclined towards Mr. Modi and Mr. Balyan, who himself is a local Jat. To woo them, Mr. Singh focuses on issue of cane dues, menace of stray cattle and joblessness, and accuses the BJP of trying to divide the country in the name of the Army, which also recruits from the Jat community. Farmers’ woesThe RLD chief strikes a chord with Virendra Singh, a Jat farmer listening patiently in the crowd. Virendra complains that the rate of milk and cattle have fallen under the BJP rule. Another Jat, Rajendra Singh, hits out at Mr. Modi over the unemployment issue, while farmer Soraj Singh, a traditional RLD voter, regrets voting for the BJP in 2014 due to the riots. “All they did was increase the power tariff. Even if the BJP fields a Jat, we will vote for Chaudhary ji. We won’t just vote, we will make him win,” says Soraj.Raj Kumar, a Jatav, also speaks against the BJP. “We are fed up of BJP. I lost ₹80,000 during demonetisation.” A few kilometres away in Kutba village, the opinion is, however, split, with many Jats still supporting Mr. Modi and happy to see the back of the previous Muslim MPs from Muzaffarnagar. Current MP Sanjeev Balyan hails from Kutba, which along with its adjoining village Kutbi, witnessed eight deaths during the 2013 violence. While young Akshay Kumar praises the sitting MP for building metalled roads, widening the canal track and setting up solar panels, Randheer Singh, a farmer, is happy with the ₹2,000 he received under the PM KISAN scheme. They also praise the Balakot air strikes, with one local comparing Mr. Modi to a patriotic king. As the conversation shifts to the battle between the RLD and the BJP and economic issues, divisions emerge, a sharp contrast from 2013 when Jats rallied heavily behind the BJP amid communal polarisation.Pushpendra Kumar, a farmer, praises the air strike, but is tilted towards the RLD and regrets voting for the BJP in 2014. He is aggrieved by stray cows which are eating his wheat crop and forcing him to spend money on fencing his 23-bigha field. “Ajit Singh is more sympathetic towards the farmers,” says Pushpendra, blaming Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for “letting loose the cows.Parveen Balyan, who works at a local sugar mill, compares the alliance partners to “thieves” ganging up against Mr. Modi. He also questions Mr. Singh for choosing Muzaffarnagar instead of Baghpat. “For 20 years he was a Minister and an MP but what work did he do?” asks Parveen. But he believes that Mr. Singh will give a tough fight this time, and predicts a low victory margin of 20,000 votes for the BJP.Like a section of Jats, OBC groups like Kashyaps, Dheevars and Julahas, and upper castes are also tilted towards the BJP. “We don’t care about the candidate, we want BJP,” says Sonu, a Julaha, in Dhindhawali village. His namesake, Sonu, a Rohilla Rajput, admits Mr. Singh has the arithmetic to back up a strong fight but still expects the BJP to win. “All I want is a strong government, a BJP government,” he says.
At least five policemen sustained injuries on Tuesday when protesters demanding justice for the Alwar gang-rape victim threw stones in Rajasthan’s Dausa district, the police said.A large number of people gathered at Dausa railway station in support of the victim following BJP MP Kirodi Lal Meena’s call for a march from Dausa to Jaipur. “The police had to resort to mild cane charge to disperse the mob. Nearly five to six policemen sustained injuries when the mob started throwing stones. Mr. Meena was sent to a different location. The situation is under control now,” Dausa SP Prahlad Singh said.Anti-govt. slogans Rashtriya Loktantrik Party legislator Hanuman Beniwal reached Dausa to support the rally and addressed the meeting. Agitators raised anti-government slogans, alleged negligence on part of the State government and demanded to know why swift action was not taken in the matter.
Protests continued in the Kashmir valley on Tuesday over the rape of a three-year-old girl in Bandipora district, the officials said. The State police has constituted a special investigation team to probe the case and one person has been arrested. Even as the authorities closed several educational institutions in the valley, students took out protest rallies against the rape of the minor girl in Sumbal area of north Kashmir’s Bandipora district last week, the officials said. They said protests erupted at Women’s College at Maulana Azad Road here as the students came out of their classes and assembled in the campus. The students demanded stern action against the accused, the officials said, adding that later the protesters marched towards the Press Enclave here. Protests rocked Kashmir University in Hazratbal area of the city where students of different departments under the banner of Kashmir University Students Union assembled inside the campus to register their protest, the officials said.
Roger Federer. APRoger Federer says he’s a big believer in kids playing sport, but he’s not keen on his own children following in his footsteps.The Swiss great and wife Mirka had identical twins Myla Rose and Charlene Riva in 2009 and another set came along five years later, Leo and Lenny. ADVERTISEMENT They are occasionally seen watching their dad ply his trade, but after years travelling the world on the tennis tour, the 36-year-old would prefer not to have to do it all over again.“I mean, I hope they don’t just because we don’t need another 25 years on tour,” he said at the Australian Open when asked if he would encourage them to be professional players.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutBut he added: “No, I’m just a supportive parent. I can’t tell which direction they’re going to go. “If there’s going to be anything in sports or somewhere in finance or business, I have no idea where they’re going to go. All I know is I’ll be incredibly supportive of them.” MOST READ Suarez Navarro rallies into Open quarterfinal Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa “I think it’s great for them to do sports early on in their life. I think it’s good for them,” he said.“Winning, losing, that comes a little bit later, but you learn a lot from that. I did anyway. I think also you make a lot of friends through sports.“You get to know yourself a bit better. It’s healthy. You move around. You go outside. I’m a big believer in these things.” Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding View comments Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH He did reveal they already play tennis, not because he has been encouraging them, but because their friends all do and he doesn’t want them to feel left out.“I’m happy they all do play tennis a little bit because basically literally all our friends who have kids as well, they all play tennis,” he said. “I wouldn’t want my kids to be the only ones who don’t play tennis, so with my wife we have sort of a little requirement on things they have to do in their life, and tennis is unfortunately one of them. “It’s not because we want them to. It’s because I think it would be a pity if they played no tennis at all.”Despite the reluctance for his children to follow in his footsteps, Federer, who is chasing a 20th Grand Slam in Melbourne, is a great believer in kids playing sport more generally, believing it can teach them a lot.ADVERTISEMENT Read Next Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles04:59DOH: Breastfeeding, proper knowledge of child feeding can combat malnutrition00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City LATEST STORIES
“Alay Para Atleta” is expected to be launched at around July to August.“We cannot just sit back and hope that things will happen. We have to be proactive, help the government to support sports as a whole, especially sports for people with disabilities. We can’t just let the government do all the spending and supporting us. We need the private sector and the Filipino to come out and support the paralympic movement to help them in the long run, and I hope this call to arms will generate the enthusiasm and provide inspiration to come around and help the cause,” said Barredo.Athletes of the PPC-PHILSPADA have their sights set on the 9th ASEAN Para Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia this September, the 2018 Asian Para Games in Indonesia, the 10th ASEAN Para Games in Manila, and the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games.Also in attendance in the summit were Philippine Olympic Committee president Peping Cojuangco, Paralympic bronze medalists Josephine Medina and Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta, swimmer Ernie Gawilan, and representatives from the Philippine Sports Commission.ADVERTISEMENT The social media-based drive, which is seeking to get help from the masses, is a nationwide campaign that encourages the general public to participate in the paralympic movement via a P50 annual contribution through mobile phone access.“It will be digital, social media-based to help us. We’re targeting P1 million for the people to buy in to the paralympic movement, which will fund research, hiring professionals, so that we can help the athletes more,” said Barredo.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutMobile donations can be made through texting “ALAYPARA (amount)” to 3456, where the public can donate from P10 to P500.Also, Information Gateway will release Juan2Run mobile game, reminiscent to the popular app “Temple Run,” with proceeds from downloading the app going to benefit PPC-PHILSPADA. LATEST STORIES Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games PLAY LIST 03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:50Trending Articles02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games What ‘missteps’? Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ Ravena: Chooks-Pilipinas raring to bask in 3×3 limelight Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken WATCH: Firefighters rescue baby seal found in parking garage 1 dead in Cavite blast, fire PPC-PHILSPADA president Mike Barredo. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOIn hopes of gathering more for sports for disabled athletes, the Philippine Paralympic Committee (PPC) and the Philippine Sports Association for the Differently Abled (PHILSPADA) is set to launch “Alay Para Atleta” program.PPC-PHILSPADA president Mike Barredo announced the development Friday during the First Philippine Para Sports Summit at Microtel by Wyndham in Quezon City.ADVERTISEMENT Cayetano dares Lacson, Drilon to take lie-detector test: Wala akong kinita sa SEA Games View comments World’s 50 Best Restaurants launches new drinking and dining guide Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken
LATEST STORIES They are to face Malaysia late Saturday before taking on Singapore and Thailand on Sunday in a bid to once again sweep the competition all the way to the gold medal.Last year’s bronze medalist Lady Volcanoes weren’t as lucky as they bowed to Thailand, 32-0, in the opening match of the women’s division.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games opening Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ View comments Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ McIlroy confirms he’ll return for FedEx Cup opener Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters KUALA LUMPUR — As expected the Philippine men’s rugby 7s team opened up with an explosive start after scoring two easy wins in the Southeast Asian Games Saturday at Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya Stadium, Kelana Jaya here.Champions in the sport’s maiden staging in 2015 Singapore edition, the Volcanoes drubbed Indonesia, 47-5, before demolishing Cambodia, 47-7.ADVERTISEMENT Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has said most Commonwealth Games projects have been completed and the remaining ones will be completed before the mega event.She appeared confident about achieving what seems impossible – several Games projects have missed deadlines many times over – while opening a bus depot for the Games.The depot, built opposite the Millennium Park on the Ring Road and claimed to be the largest of its kind in the world, can accommodate 1,000 buses.It has five workshop-cum-bus scanning centres, seven dormitories to accommodate up to 500 DTC officials, eight washing pits, four underground tanks for water to wash buses, two CNG filling stations and baggage scanning centre to be maintained by Delhi Police, a transport official said.Dikshit said constructing the depot was difficult because of the soil conditions existing in the area.”We have done this despite the bad weather. Our officials and labourers have worked hard so that the works can be completed,” the chief minister said.She also thanked the media for keeping her government on its toes by criticising the preparations for the Games.Four low-floor hybrid buses, which can run on compressed natural gas as well as electricity, were also launched at the function. They will form part of the government’s efforts to hold a green Games.Lockdown:Security forces will place a lockdown on the Commonwealth Games Village on Sunday. Other venues, including the Jawahar Lal Nehru (JLN) stadium, will be similarly closed by September 23.A government source said rehearsals for the opening ceremony alone will be allowed at the JLN stadium on September 28 and October 1. The source also rubbished reports that the Indian Mujahideen planned to target the Games venues.advertisementUp to 1,000 buses can be parked at the bus depot, touted as the world’s largest.
Born to a poor family in a non-descript village in Nashik district of Maharashtra, pursuing athletics was the only choice left for Kavita Raut.And she does not regret her decision after becoming the first Indian woman to win an individual track medal in Commonwealth Games.Raut bagged a bronze in women’s 10,000m race on Friday by clocking 33:05.28 to give India its first athletics medal in Delhi Commonwealth Games.Before Raut, the women’s 4X400m relay team had won a silver in 2006 Games in Melbourne where long jumper Anju Bobby George and Seema Antil had also bagged a silver and a bronze respectively. Neelam Jaswant Singh had won a silver in discus throw in 2002 Manchester Games.But Anju, Antil and Neelam’s medals have come in field events.
Ranbir KapoorHe won over both the masses and the critics with his good looks and acting chops but while growing up Bollywood heartthrob Ranbir Kapoor had his heart set on being a football player.He let that dream go but the 28-year-old actor is now campaigning to make sports a part of school curriculums across the country with the ‘Fit India Movement’, a campaign launched by NDTV in collaboration with Nirmal Lifestyle.”I loved football, but I did not have anybody to guide me about making it a career. If Indian children have the coaches and the facilities that are available abroad, we will be world champions,” said Kapoor who is the brand ambassador of the campaign.The actor was in Delhi to launch the first phase of the campaign called ‘Marks For Sports’ and shared the stage with ace shooter Gagan Narang, billiards champion Pankaj Advani, Indian football captain Bhaichung Bhutia, boxing champion Vijender Singh and former cricketer Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi.”It all begins at the school level and Marks for Sports is a campaign that will help discover the talent that our children have and sports teaches you so much. Other than making you fit, it teaches you discipline, motivation and team spirit,” said the actor who entered the venue on a bicycle.
Disconcerted by the treatment meted out to them by the Taj Hotel staff in Chandigarh, the five national selectors led by K Srikkanth have decided to give the India-Sri Lanka final in Mumbai a miss.Booked at the Taj to witness the high-voltage India-Pakistan clash live at the PCA Stadium on Wednesday, the five national selectors would have been expected to be a part of Team India’s celebration when they left Shahid Afridi’s team shattered.But contrary to initial plans, they were taken aback when they found that their booking at the hotel – supposed to have a tie-up with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) – had been cancelled and ICC officials had been given the rooms allocated to the selectors.Hurt by the BCCI’s refusal to look into the matter and provide them with accommodation, they immediately left for their respective homes.According to a Punjab Cricket Association official, the incident took place as there was a feud between BCCI and ICC over hotel bookings.Paid employees of the BCCI, the selectors are more often than not made to make their own arrangements when it comes to accommodations etc.But being refused accommodation even after booking their rooms well in advance seemed to be too much for them to take.As a result, the selectors have decided to stay away from the final of the ICC World Cup.While chairman of selectors Srikkanth refused to answer calls and reply to messages sent, a hurt Yashpal Sharma, representing North Zone, said that it was for Srikkanth to talk on the matter.advertisement”We are strictly barred from speaking to the media and it is for the chairman of selectors to speak on the issue. All I can say is that we are not going to Mumbai at the moment,” Sharma told MAIL TODAY over phone on Thursday.
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Under attack over violence in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on Thursday launched a scathing attack on Congress and BJP on the issue of land acquisition, saying farmers in states ruled by the two parties were agitated over poor compensation. Addressing BSP workers from Delhi at the Talkatora Indoor Stadium in New Delhi, the BSP chief alleged that Congress is considered as the “mother of corruption” in the country. Mayawati, under attack from opposition parties in UP on the issue of corruption, used the opportunity to attack the ruling party at the Centre on the same issue. Citing irregularities in the run up to the Commonwealth Games, she said the money wasted in corruption could haver been used to upgrade the living conditions of people from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar who have come the national capital to earn a living. Mayawati alleged that the “corruption” during the Commonwealth Games had the patronage and encouragement of Congress-ruled Delhi government. On the issue of land acquisition, said before accusing her party of wrongdoings on acquiring farmlands in the backdrop of violence in Bhatta Parsaul village in Greater Noida, Congress and BJP should take stock of situation in states ruled by the two parties. She claimed in Congress-ruled Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan and Maharashtra and BJP-ruled Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, farmers were agitated over receiving poor compensation for their lands acquired by the state governments. “Right under the nose of the central government, lands of farmers ares being acquired in Delhi at poor rates,” Mayawati said. Mayawati said BSP would press for an amended Land Acquisition Bill in the Monsoon session of Parliament and if need be the party workers would ‘ghearo’ the Parliament House on the issue. She claimed that unemployment and recent hike in fuel prices have aggrevated the problems being faced by the common man but Congress-led UPA was not serious in dealing with the situation as its leaders were busy pursuing their “narrow political interests.” The BSP asked the cadre to prepare itself for the next assembly elections in Delhi and said they will have to work with a missionary zeal if they wanted to have the party’s government installed in Delhi.advertisement- With PTI inputsFor more news on India, click here.For more news on Business, click here.For more news on Movies, click here.For more news on Sports, click here.
Pakistan Army is under the scanner for alleged terror links once again. Brigadier Ali Khan, a serving Pakistan army officer, has been arrested by army officials for suspected links with a banned terror group. Reports say authorities detained Brigadier Khan for ties with defunct terror group Hizbul Tehrir. The report of the brigadier’s detention was confirmed by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Pakistani media has reported. The senior army officer Brigadier Ali Khan was posted at the GHQ.For more news on India, click here.For more news on Business, click here.For more news on Movies, click here.For more news on Sports, click here.
Eight months after the Commonwealth Games, skeletons continue to tumble out of the taint-ridden Organising Committee’s closet.The stock-taking of the assets purchased for the October 2010 Games has thrown up an endless list of expensive gizmos that were purchased but are now untraceable.The OC officials are finding it difficult to fix the exact worth of these gizmos as the files pertaining to their purchase are also missing.As many as 125 laptops, 45 television sets, including 33 LCDs, 25 desktops and over 40 DVD players are found to be missing. The list of missing gadgets is endless. “About 580 mobile phones issued during the Games can’t be traced, as is the case with 15 missing printers, two scanners, 10 microwave ovens, 80 web cameras which were installed on desktops, 10 projectors and 110 phone sets used for internet facility at the venues. Someone has even taken away about 80 pedestal fans from our possession,” OC chief executive officer Jarnail Singh said.Even the plaques, which were to be gifted to the heads of the Commonwealth Federation, were not spared. As many as 180 plaques were designed at a cost of Rs 23 lakh.Today the OC can account for only 89 of them. As they were not gifted to any representative of the Commonwealth Federation, the OC officials were perplexed about the fate of the remaining 91 plaques. The OC officials realised that the plaques had been stolen only when one of their consultants was caught carting it away on a close circuit TV camera. The consultant was later confronted and the plaque retrieved.The disclosure made by the OC chief to Mail Today part of the report being prepared for the Union sports ministry which will present it to the Cabinet at the monsoon session of Parliament.advertisementThe missing inventory is apart from what the Prime Minister appointed V. K. Shunglu Committee has pointed out in its report about the irregularities in giving of CWG contracts and the corruption trail being probed by the Enforcement Directorate and the CBI. Senior officials claimed that the “missing inventory” does not include furniture, which would be more in numbers than what has been disclosed so far.”Unlike government offices, we never kept a record of our furniture, nor did we number it according to the year of purchase. It’s a poor asset management, which has been repeatedly pointed out by the audit teams of sports ministry since 2006. But we failed to correct ourselves,” a senior officer of the OC’s finance wing, said.The OC CEO Singh said, “We can’t even claim back our own furniture because we don’t have proper records of that, nor can we put its worth in rupees as we don’t know in which year it was bought.” The ministry’s audit team would be doing the final exercise very soon. But it would be a messy affair still as there would be many missing links as usual, Singh said.”We are preparing this official note where we are going to present the correct picture to the ministry and also admit that tracing the missing stocks is beyond our capacity,” a senior OC official said.There is something more baffling for the OC officials as they try to bring the shutters down at 1 Jai Singh Road, the OC headquarters.”A lot of our stocks is not matching the purchases in account books as we get ready for our last audit. Besides the list we have prepared for the ministry, there were a lot of items purchased between 2006 and 2008 in the run- up to the 2010 Games and the Commonwealth Youth Games in Pune. A lot of these items are missing in our current stocks and mostly got misplaced or stolen when OC headquarters shifted to its present address,” another senior OC official said.The OC’s poor asset management and lack of proper stock verification exercises in the five years leading to the Games is reflected in what OC officials have to face daily. Contractors and vendors make a beeline to the OC headquarters almost daily to claim payment of bills for the logistics support they provided during the Games.”The problem is that the official files do not have the bills while officials within the OC authenticate their claims. We do not even have those logistics to allow for the payment. At the same time the account books cannot be completed without settling these claims,” the official said.These are mostly small vendors who did the contract in the range of Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh and may are approaching the court to settle their claims, he added.advertisementNo one in the OC is able to resolve the mystery of missing gizmos, files and bills. Perhaps the jailed OC chairman Suresh Kalmadi and his henchmen would be able to do it.For more news on India, click here.For more news on Business, click here.For more news on Movies, click here.For more news on Sports, click here.