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I-League 2018-19: Pressure on Mohun Bagan, not us: David Robertson

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Srinagar, Nov 19: Mohun Bagan have travelled north to take on I-League 2nd Division champions Real Kashmir FC at the TRC Turf Ground in Srinagar on Tuesday.

The Mariners have had a shaky start to their league campaign as they have drawn twice and won just once to sit fifth on the league table. Their only win came against Indian Arrows who are a developmental side bereft of foreign signings.

Bagan will be tested to their limits when they take on Real Kashmir away from home as they have traditionally struggled to perform well in the highlands.

Coach Sankar Lal Chakraborty is concerned more about his opponents than the foreign weather conditions that await them on Tuesday afternoon.

“We have travelled a day before to adjust to the weather and the synthetic turf. But I think to face team Real Kashmir is a tougher challenge (than adjusting to conditions). It is bad luck that they lost their last match as they had five-six clear chances on goal. They have built a good combination. They are a good team with two strong centre-backs. Their wing play has been brilliant.

“And as far as weather conditions are concerned we did train in the afternoon yesterday. We were not uncomfortable. After warming up the body responded well and the players had a good session,” said the coach.

The TRC Ground has an artificial turf which is further going to complicate matters for Mohun Bagan.

“Across the world, synthetic turfs are not in use anymore. But in hilly areas, you have to adjust to it even if you like it or don’t like it. Players are also upbeat to win this game irrespective of the conditions and turf,” reasoned the coach.

Real Kashmir FC head coach David Robertson made it clear that his team will play to enjoy the match and the onus will be on the Kolkata-giants to eke out a positive result.

“There is no pressure on us. We are playing a club which is more than 120 years old and it is an honour for us that Mohun Bagan has come here to play against us. I have played in big clubs and the pressure is always on the big clubs to get a positive result.

“Coming here, nothing less than a win for them would be satisfactory. We will just enjoy the event. Although we managed to get just a point from the previous two matches I think we played well enough. It was our first defeat after a year and we played great football. Teams coming here find it difficult because of the altitude and unless you are here five-six days here before the game it is going to be very difficult in the last 20 mins of the game,” stated the Scottish tactician.

But his team has been wasteful in the attacking third which cost them dearly against NEROCA. Robertson emphasised that he has been working on the end product and he hopes that his team will be able to put up a better display against Mohun Bagan.

“The good thing is that we have been creating chances. Unfortunately, we couldn’t take them in the previous match but we have been working on our finishing. Against a good team like Bagan chances will obviously be less but we have to make the most of it.

“If you look at all the teams, except Chennai, everyone has had a slow start. We beat the defending champions in the first game. It is very very early. At some point, Mohun Bagan will click and push on but hopefully not tomorrow. ”

The home matches of Real Kashmir has seen an exceptional turnout and the coach heaped praise on the 12th man as he thinks that they would play an important role in Tuesday’s match.

“The support has been outstanding for us. Kashmiris enjoy football and they are coming out in numbers which actually gives us an edge. I still remember that we were losing a game 2-1 at half-time but we came back and won it 3-2 in extra time because of the way they spurred us on. Obviously, we don’t have the history of such Kolkata clubs but again since we are in I-League the people will support for Real Kashmir. It just adds pressure on the away team,” concluded the coach.


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759 stone pelting incidents in J&K in 2018: MHA

Press Trust of India

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Srinagar, Dec 12: As many as 759 incidents of stone pelting were reported in Jammu and Kashmir so far this year; the Rajya Sabha was informed Wednesday.
Union minister of state for home Hansraj Ahir also said 238 militants were killed by the forces in Jammu and Kashmir till December 2, 2018.
“There are instances of stone pelting during anti-militancy operations in Jammu and Kashmir. The state government has reported that 759 cases have been registered against stone pelters in 2018,” he said replying to a written question.
There were 587 incidents of violence in the state till December 2 this year in which 86 forces’ personnel and 37 civilians were also killed.
In the corresponding period in 2017, there were 329 incidents of militant violence in the state in which 200 militants were killed while 74 forces’ personnel and 36 civilians were also killed in these incidents.
Ahir said the violence in Jammu and Kashmir has been “sponsored and supported” from across the border and it has direct links to the infiltration.

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GoI releases Rs 260 cr for five new Medical Colleges

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JAMMU, DECEMBER 12: Government of India today released Rs 260 crore to the Health and Medical Education Department for 5 New Medical Colleges coming up at Anantnag, Baramulla, Doda, Kathua and Rajouri.
According to Principal Secretary, Health & Medical Education, Atal Dulloo, with the latest release of funds by the Government of India, the cumulative release of central share for these colleges till date has reached Rs 765 crores.
He said the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India has sanctioned 5 New Medical Colleges in the Sate at a cost of Rs 189 crore each which includes Rs 139 crore for civil works and Rs 50 crore for machinery and equipment.
He said the civil works in all these medical colleges are at different levels of progress and have been expedited of late to put the requisite infrastructure in place at the earliest.
Dulloo said the Department has initiated steps to provide infrastructure, equipment and human resource in these colleges as per MCI guidelines to start 1st batch of MBBS admissions next year.
He said with the completion of these 5 New Medical Colleges, 500 MBBS students would be annually added to the overall capacity of MBBS course in the state.

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Family members of slain constables in Shopian attack share memories

Press Trust of India

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Srinagar, Dec 12: Eighteen-month-old Uzma searches for her father, Constable Abdul Majeed Ganaie, among the mourners who continue to stream into their home in Ganderbal. To calm her down, a family member plays a video clip of Majeed crooning a Bollywood number.
The video solaces Uzma, who looks confused by the sudden arrival of teary eyed people trying to console her mother and other family members.
Majeed gave the performance at a family function. His voice had left all of us stunned, recalls his brother Showkat, a labourer, as he receives mourners at his residence.
The song “Tere Jaisa Yaar Kahan” by Kishore Kumar was his favourite and he would sing it quite often, he says.
“Friendship was the only thing he had earned all these years,” Showkat says, as he puts the song on a loop for his niece Uzma, who wants to see her ‘Baba’.
Showkat chokes back tears as he recalls his last meeting with Majeed 15 days ago when he had come home for a break. “Majeed would advise me not to fight as I am a bit short-tempered,” he says.
Born at Shallabugh Ganderbal in central Kashmir, Majeed had only studied till Class 8 and had subsequently started working as a labourer.
In 1995, he joined the Hizbul Mujahideen as a locally trained militant, but he left militancy a year later. Thereafter, he started working as a labourer till 2000 when he got selected as a constable.
The four policemen were on guard duty outside a minority pocket — a term used for localities where Kashmiri Pandits stay — when militants attacked them.
The pregnant wife of Anees ul Islam Mir, one of the slain constables, is in trauma since she’s heard the news about her husband’s death.
“They had got married seven months ago and she was expecting. Both of them were really excited about it. Anees was just 26 years old,” his maternal uncle Sabzar Bhat says.
Mourners continue to throng their residence in Kulgam village of South Kashmir since Wednesday morning and his wife has fainted many times.
Bhat, who runs a chemist shop, has kept a doctor on standby for her.
Constable Mehrajuddin Dar’s family was preparing for his wedding next year. He had started constructing a house for himself in Khewa of Safapora in Bandipore district of North Kashmir.
“He was a darling of his nieces and nephews. He would spend time with children during holidays,” recalls his brother Farooq Dar.
Constbale Hamidullah Ganie stayed with his brother Abdul Majeed Ganie after his marriage with Khalida. His family stays in Fatehpora of Anantnag in South Kashmir.

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