Srinagar, Dec 5: Hopes rekindled in the valley’s football fans, as Real Kashmir Football Club on Wednesday bounced back in the I-League with their third win. They defeated former champions Aizawal FC 1:0.
Like in their previous game against Indian Arrows, Snow leopards overpowered their opponents on the ground before the fans numbering in thousands.
With this win, Real Kashmir FC (RKFC), the first football club from the valley to attain to play prestigious I- League, jumped to fourth position in the league with 10 points.
Ever since the game started, the enthusiasm of the crowd ceased to slow down.
Ecstatic football freaks all over the stadium jumped in jubilation when Real Kashmir FC’s Nagen Tamang got a chance to hit the football into the goal post.
For the match, Head Coach David Robertson made a bold decision to choose new recruit Abed Kofi Tetteh in place of Aaron Katebe to add more firepower in the attacking department.
Similarly, Aizawal FC Head Coach, Gift Raikhan, replaced Joe Zoherliana in deep defense with Nigerian Kareem Nurain, who made a comeback after an injury lay-off.
The hosts began the game on an attacking note when Nagen Tamang floated a delightful cross from the flanks towards the far post for Surchandra Singh, but the latter could only find the side-netting from close range.
Aizawl had an equal chance in the 25th minute when midfielder Albert Zohmingmawia’s cross from the right was blocked by Real Kashmir FC Goalkeeper Bilal Khan.
Real Kashmir FC did not have to wait long for their eventual winner when Bazie Armand rose the tallest inside the six-yard box to get his head to a corner floated in by midfielder Surchandra Singh.
Aizwala FC goalkeeper Gurpreet Chahal failed to punch away and Paul Ramfangzauva could not time his jump to prevent Armand from heading the ball.
Aizawl started to show more urgency after falling behind but was not able to produce the final ball, which could trouble the hosts.
An equal show was displayed by host’s Mason Robertson and captain Loveday Okechukwu as who kept Aizwal FC’s Leonce Dodoz and Ansumana Kromah at bay for the entire opening 45 minutes.
For the home side, Krizo got some of the chances in the second half particularly two free-headers, one off a cross from Kofi and another in the 82nd minute off a free-kick, which he missed to their marks.
Aizwal FC in the second half got a few chances especially in 86th minute of the game when the net was empty.
Additional five minutes were given in which both the teams unsuccessfully attempted to score goals.
For several minutes after the match, the winning team stayed in the ground to thank the spectators for their support.
Soon after the match was called off, ecstatic football fans cheered up for the winning team amid noise of fire crackers and pom-pom.
A standing ovation was given to the Man of the Match, Bazie Armand, by the spectators.
“We knew that Real Kashmir FC will win the match. They have performed well in the previous matches as well but results were good now,” said Muhammad Amin a football fan who had come from Baramulla to watch the game.
David Robertson said the performances throughout the league so far has depicted the strength of the team.
“We missed something in the earlier stages. Now Kofi’s entry has yielded results today. We played better and equally defended in the second half. I think we deserved the win,” he said.
Robertson said the support of the home crowd equally boosted his players to perform better.
Aizawal FC Head Coach, Gift Raikhan, said his team couldn’t convert some of the open chances into goals.
“Result was not good today though we played good football. There were some open chances for us, but Real Kashmir FC played fantastically well. They played long goals which benefitted them,” he said.
Assembly, Parl polls to be held together possibly in May
Srinagar, Dec 11: Election Commission of India is preparing to club the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections in Jammu and Kashmir earlier next year, while it has initiated the process for the polls.
According to a letter dispatched by the Chief Electoral Officer—a copy of which lies with The Kashmir Monitor—the district election officers have been directed to send a proposal of appointment of returning officers and assistant returning officers for Lok Sabha and Assembly polls.
The letter has been sent following the Election Commission of India sought the details about the officials.
An official associated with the CEO said they have been told that the Assembly polls would be clubbed with Lok Sabha.
“The elections may be held in March or in April,” the official told The Kashmir Monitor.
The official said the poll body has directed them to start preparations for the polls.
“The security is one of the issues. On the pattern of urban local bodies and Panchayat polls, the Assembly and Parliament elections will be held in a phased manner,” the official said.
“When forces are deployed for the Lok Sabha polls in the state, it would be convenient for election authorities to hold the Assembly polls simultaneously,” the official said.
Mentioning a Supreme Court direction, the official said the outer limit for holding fresh polls after the dissolution of a House is six months.
National Conference has demanded for joint Assembly and Parliament polls, following the dissolution of the House.
The Jammu and Kashmir Assembly has a six-year term while other assemblies and the Lok Sabha have a five-year term.
The term of the prematurely terminated government was to end on March 16, 2021.
The Governor, Satya Pal Malik, dissolved the Assembly shortly after the People’s Democratic Party leader Mehbooba Mufti staked claim to form a government with the support of NC and Congress.
She cited a collective strength of 56 MLAs in the 87-member House.
Militants kill 4 cops, flee with rifles in Shopian
Srinagar, Dec 11: Four J&K policemen were killed after militants attacked a police post in Zainapora area of south Kashmir’s Shopian district on Tuesday.
A police official said a group of militants opened fire at the police post, resulting in the on spot death of three security guards and injuries to another at Zainapora.
The injured cop was taken to a local hospital where from he was referred to a hospital in Srinagar. However, he succumbed on way to Srinagar, said the official.
The policemen were inside their guard room when the militants fired at them anddecamped with their service rifles.
The slain cops were identified as Constable Anees Ahmad (Belt No. 480/SPN), resident of Kulgam, selection grade constable Abdul Majid (193/SPN), resident of Ganderbal, Constable Mehraj-ud-din (477/SPN), resident of Hajin Bandipora and constable Hameedullah (860/SPN), resident of Anantnag.
Majid was the fourth one to die in the attack.
The area was soon cordoned off and a search operation was launched.
Media reports quoting police sources said that six Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM)militants led by former police officer Adil Bashir, who left the force after stealing eight rifles in October, were believed to be involved in the attack.
JeM militant outfit claimed the responsibility of the attack.
A JeM spokesperson Muhammad Hassan, according to a statement issued to media, said: “As per initial reports, three Indian forces (personnel) have been killed while several others critically injured.”
Hassan, according to the statement, said they snatched four rifles from the cops.
Later in the day, the wreath-laying ceremony for the slain cops took place in District Police Lines, Shopian.
“Civil and Police Officers including Munir Ahmed Khan, ADGP (Security/Law & Order/HG), IGP Kashmir S. P. Pani, DIG SKR Amit Kumar laid floral wreaths on the mortal remains and paid rich tributes to the slain cops “who made supreme sacrifice in the line of duty,” said a police spokesperson.
“Among others who paid floral tributes including SP Shopian, DC Shopian, officers and jawans of the district and officers from other forces,” the spokesman added.
Governor Satya Pal Malik expressed grief over the loss of lives of policemen.
In a message Governor has prayed for eternal peace to the departed souls and conveyed his sympathies to the bereaved families.
On Twitter, former chief minister Omar Abdullah too condemned the attack: “I strongly condemn the attack on the police post in Shopian &condole the deaths of three police personnel in the line of duty. I pray for their souls & for the speedy recovery of those injured in this attack (sic)”.
Peoples Conference (PC) chairman and former minister Sajad Gani Lone called the attack in Shopian another “mindless act of violence”.
Sajad tweeted: “The attack in Shopian on police personnel is yet another mindless act of violence. My heartfelt condolences to the families of the policemen who laid down their lives in the line of duty.”
BJP shaken, Congress break in
New Delhi, Dec 11: Ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Tuesday suffered heavy election defeats in two states, with another on a knife edge, in a bruising day of results that exposed the party’s vulnerability less than six months before the all-important 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Ending its prolonged electoral reversals, a reinvigorated Congress produced a resilient comeback as it is on course to oust the BJP to form its governments in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.
Madhya Pradesh, meanwhile, is witnessing a tantalisingly close fight between the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress.
The governing BJP vote collapsed by 17 percentage points in Rajasthan state and by at least 12 points in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, all part of the Hindi heartland where Indian governments are traditionally made or broken.
Those losses, as well as the revival of a Congress party frequently written off in the past five years, had analysts revising their predictions for next year’s national polls, which Modi had been expected to win in a cakewalk.
The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), on the other hand, secured a thumping majority in Telangana while MNF has defeated Congress in the latter’s last bastions in Northeast.
TRS chief K ChandrashekarRao’s gamble for early polls paid rich dividends with the ruling party winning 57 seats and leading in 30 of the 119 constituencies. The Congress-TDP alliance, ‘Prajakutami’, has won 14 seats and is leading in 7, according to the Election Commission.
Addressing a press conference later in the day, KCR said TRS would play a crucial role in the national political arena. “We dedicate this victory to the people of Telangana. This is a positive vote for us. We are going to play a very crucial role in national politics. We will give a new definition to the national political scenario” he said. Rao, who is set to return as CM for a second term, further said, “Today’s results…Telangana has shown the way to the whole nation. Today, Telangana stands (as) a non-Congress, non-BJP state.”
The outcome of the elections is significant as Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan account for 65 Lok Sabha seats, of which the BJP grabbed 62 in 2014 when the Narendra Modi wave was at its high.