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A historic game: Real Kashmir to face Mohun Bagan tomorrow

Firdous Hassan

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Srinagar, Nov 18: As Real Kashmir FC is set to lock horns with India’s oldest and top football club, Mohun Bagan FC, in an I-League match on Tuesday, valley’s ace footballers who hope for an upper hand to RKFC, call it a “historic game” in the history of football in Kashmir.
Real Kashmir FC, which rose to fame after qualifying for prestigious I-league, will face a century old Kolkata based Mohun Bagan FC at Astro Turf TRC Srinagar.
Considering the popularity of both these teams, more spectators are expected to witness the game even as the last one saw 100 percent occupancy of the stands.
Fans and experts are eyeing for an exciting game of football given Real Kashmir FC’s form and the successful season of the second division of the coveted league.
Kashmir’s ace footballers, who all support the local club, believe that RKFC will give a tough competition to the Kolkata giants.
“It will be the first professional match for Mohun Bagan in Kashmir as earlier they visited here for exhibition match only in 2012. Our players are also professionally guided and have a better support to utilise the opportunity,” Ace footballer S A Hamid said told The Kashmir Monitor.
Mehrajuddin Wadoo, former Mohun Bagan defender and currently coach for Pune based U18 team, said the game against Real Kashmir could be difficult for Mohun Bagan FC.
“Mohun Bagan is the toughest opponent they have faced so far but the overall atmosphere created by some great football played by Real Kashmir FC recently is a good sign for them. It could be a difficult game for Mohun Bagan as Real Kashmir FC has that ability to give a tough competition to its opponents,” he said.
Wadoo said the game against Mohun Bagan will be a significant match for local players as well.
“Normally, we see Mohun Bagan on TV and now our players have that opportunity to show their talent to qualify for even bigger clubs,” he said.
Wadoo added that the previous loss for Real Kashmir won’t have any impact on the team’s performance in the upcoming matches.
“It is a big league and one loss doesn’t count here,” he said.
Wadoo who has played for Mohun Bagan FC for five years, said qualifying for I –League in itself is the biggest achievement for any club.
“Our team (Real Kahsmir FC) is the best and indeed is the crown of our state. To qualify for I-League in just two years of its establishment is not an easy job. They have created their own niche and every person here should support them,” he said.
Wadoo said the match will have great significance by generating interest among locals towards the beautiful game.
Another renowned professional footballer from Kashmir and former captain of Mohun Bagan FC, Ishfaq Ahmed, said the upcoming match will be a treat for football fans.
“Mohun Bagan FC has its own history. Two years back they were champions. No matter I have been the captain of Mohun Bagan but I will personally love to see our Real Kashmir FC winning the match,” he said.
Ahmed who claims that sentiments of Kashmiris are attached with the team said that playing in front of a native crowd is considered as biggest prize for a sportsperson.
“If our home team wins I will be happier. I have even started calling Real Kashmir FC as panun team (our team) on Twitter. This team is our pride and it’s really an honour for a footballer to play for them,” he said.
Sports analyst and former Director Radio Kashmir, Syed Humayun Kaiser, believed that the match will be first of its kind in Kashmir.
“Everyone should watch the match. You won’t get to see Mohun Bagan in Kashmir. Whatever will be the results, the club carries a history with it,” he said.


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Zakir Musa killing: Shutdown, restrictions on Day 2 as well

Nisar Dharma

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Srinagar, May 25: A complete shutdown was Saturday observed in Kashmir on the second as well against the killing of Zakir Musa, the militant ‘commander’ and chief of Ansar Ghazwatul Hind (AGH), who was shot dead during an encounter in Dadsara, Tral early Friday morning.
Authorities also continued placing curbs in parts of the valley to foil any protests or clashes. Following the orders from the divisional administration, all educational institutes across Kashmir remained closed for the second consecutive day as well.
High-speed mobile internet continued to remain suspended in most districts of Kashmir although 2G- speed internet service was restored in Budgam, Ganderbal and Srinagar on Saturday afternoon.
A police official said the curbs on the movement of people were in force in parts of Srinagar, Kulgam and Pulwama.
Train service on the Baramulla-Banihal line also remained suspended, the official said.
“Curfew continued to remain imposed in parts of the Kashmir valley today (Saturday) as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order,” the official said.
In Srinagar, he added, strict restrictions were in place in Nowhatta, Rainawari, Khanyar, Safakadal and M R Gung areas, while partial restrictions were in force in Maisuma and Kralkhud areas.
The official said that government forces including police and paramilitary was deployed in strength in other parts of the valley to avoid any untoward incident.
Meanwhile, most of the shops, fuel stations and other business establishments remained shut in the valley following the strike call by Hurriyat (G) chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani against the killing of Zakir and a civilian Zahoor Ahmad, a resident of Naira Pulwama – who was killed allegedly by government forces on Thursday.
Public transport was also off the roads.
Zakir, one of the most-wanted militant ‘commanders’ in Kashmir, was killed in the encounter at Dadsara Tral after forces launched a search operation late Thursday evening following specific information about the presence of militants there.
His killing led to spontaneous shutdown and protests in the valley.

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Zakir’s death marks end of ‘radical jihad’: DGP

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Srinagar, May 25: Police Saturday said the killing of Ansar Ghazwatul Hind (AGH) Chief Zakir Musa has ended the “cult and concept of radical jihad” and Zakir was the last militant of “ISIS-influenced ideology”.
“Zakir Musa had created a new concept of radical jihad and militancy in Kashmir. He was the last militant of such radicalised ideology. With his killing, security forces have eliminated the last such militant who was influenced by ISIS kind of militancy in Kashmir,” Director General of Police, Dilbagh Singh was quoted saying by a local news agency.
The DGP said that youth should understand that “radical ideology or other kind of militancy leads to death and destruction.”
“Some youth were influenced by the radical ideology of Zakir Musa and we would see youth waving ISIS flags in Downtown around Jamia Masjid on Fridays. His killing is the death of radical concept of Jihad in Kashmir. Any radical idea of militancy is against the interests of youth and other people of the state,” the DGP said.
The DGP said that he appreciates and is grateful to the people of Kashmir for “maintaining peace and calm in the last three days.”
Zakir was killed in Dadsara village of Tral in Pulwama district by government forces in a gunfight during the intervening night of Thursday and Friday.
His killing triggered protests at several places with authorities imposing restrictions and Hurriyat calling for shutdown in Kashmir.

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‘Minorities have been cheated, have to stop it: Modi

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New Delhi, May 25: A bow before the Constitution of India was Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first action after being unanimously elected the National Democratic Alliance’s leader as he set the agenda for the next term of his government in the Central Hall of Parliament on Saturday.
In his address, Modi reached out to minorities, who he said have been “cheated” by the opposition and called for the lawmakers to earn their trust and put an end to the deception immediately.
“We have worked for sabka saath, sabka vikas, now we have to strive for sabka vishwas,” the PM said while addressing NDA MPs in parliament’s Central Hall Saturday evening.
“The way the poor have been cheated, the minorities have been deceived the same way. It would have been good if their education, their health had been in focus. I expect from you in 2019 that you would be able to make a hole in that deception. We have to earn their trust,” PM Modi said.
The PM, who is likely to be sworn in next week, said this time in the general elections, people voted for pro-incumbency.
“There was pro-incumbency wave in this election, its result was a positive mandate,” the PM told NDA leaders, and added, “The 2019 elections have helped bring down walls, connect hearts.”
The BJP scored 303 seats in the 543-member Lok Sabha in the national election and along with its allies, won a remarkable tally of 353.
The formality of allies naming PM Modi as the undisputed leader of the NDA was carried out in the Central Hall of parliament amid loud applause, desk-thumping and chants of “Modi, Modi”.
Top alliance leaders, including Janata Dal United chief Nitish Kumar, Shiv Sena’s Uddhav Thackeray and Akali Dal’s Parkash Singh Badal were in the meeting.
On the dais, senior BJP leaders LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi flanked PM Modi.
Shiromani Akali Dal leader Parkash Singh Badal moved a resolution to elect PM Modi as the leader of the NDA Parliamentary Party which was supported by JDU chief and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan and other leaders of the NDA.
“The people have accepted Narendra Modi experiment again from their heart. I want to say this about Modiji, whom I have worked with – for 20 years, he has not taken even a day off. He has worked 18 hours a day.”
On Friday, the council of ministers led by PM Modi submitted their resignation which was accepted by President Kovind, paving way for formation of new government.
Accepting PM Modi’s resignation, the president had had asked them to continue as a caretaker until the formation of a new government.

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