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RKFC at par with Churchill after goalless draw against Aizawl

Firdous Hassan

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Aizawl, Jan 11: Real Kashmir FC jumped to third spot in I-League after holding former champions Aizawl FC with a draw at their home turf, Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Mualpui.

Real Kashmir have drawn level on points with second-placed Churchill Brothers, but are behind on goal difference, as the head-to-head record between the two teams currently stands at 0-0.

Hence, the Snow Leopards are placed third on the 12th table with 22 points.

 

The team left behind Neroca FC, which currently holds the fourth spot with 21 points in 11 matches.

The game, which started at 2pm, saw attacking football,however, both the teams couldn’t materialise in 90 minute long contest and ultimately settled for a point each.

No changes were seen in Real Kashmir FC squad, as head coach David Robertson continued with the list of players, who defeated Mohun Bagan earlier this week.

Aizawl, however, preferred three changes by slotting in defender Govin Singh, Paul Ramfangzaua and youngster Lalremsanga in playing XI.

Aizawl’sLalremsanga made his debut in the league in the absence of injured senior striker AnsumanahKromah and Lalkhawpuimawia.

Host team’s new coach Stanley Rozario could not be present in the dugout because of a delayed flight. In his absence, assistant coach’s Rohmingthanga and Jonathan Lalbiakkima were in charge for the game.

Soon after the match commenced, both the teams were locked in an intense midfield battle for major part of the game.

Aizawl had the first real chance of the match as Aaron Katebe misguided header landed in the path of Remsanga who was striding towards the goal. But the Mizo striker could not find the back of the net as his shot flew past the crossbar.

Moments later, RKFC had similar chance but couldn’t be captalised as striker Abednedo Kofi Tetteh’s heavy touch after beating Gurpreet Singh allowed the keeper to recover and collect the ball.

At 26th minute of the game, RKFC missed the second chance to score a goal when a corner from Surchandra Singh couldn’t be converted by strikers Kofi, Armand Bazie and Mason Robertson.

The team lost another chance at 30th minute of the game when another successful cornor by Surchandra Singh and a header by Tettehbyepassed Goal Keeper Gurprret Singh but was stopped by Vanlalthanga.

The first half of the game passed without a goal by both of the teams.

The second half of the game saw changes from RKFC as David Robertson replaced FarhanGanaie and Tetteh with Khalid Quyoom and Ritiwik Das respectively.

Similarly, Aizawl made three changes by bringing in Lalrinchhana, IsakVanlalruatfela and Albert Zohmingmawla.

The entire second half started much brighter for the away team. Tetteh beautifully dummied the ball for Suchandra but the Manipuri’s powerful shot from just outside the box was timely blocked by Kassaga.

Robertson’s side attacked as Aizawl crowded their defense line.

Danish Farooq’s curling effort from inside the box was acrobatically saved by Gurpreet much to the delight of the home fans who thanked the Punjabi goalkeeper with a loud roar.

RKFC head coach, David Robertson said the game was difficult for them due to the nature of the ground.

“We are happy with the results. We got few chances but couldn’t score. We missed upfront today due to the absence of Krizo. We are delighted with 22 points now,” he said.


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Address reason forcing youth to take up arms: Mirwaiz to Guv

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Srinagar, Jan 18: On J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik’s statement that the government does not want to ‘kill militants but militancy’, Hurriyat (M) Chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Friday said if that was the case the Governor should address the cause that forces the young boys to take up the arms.

“If it is so and they (Governor’s administration) are sincere then the government should address the cause that is leading these educated and young boys to take to arms,” Mirwaiz said while addressing the Friday Congregation at Jama Masjid here.

Calling for a political process to resolve the issue, Mirwaiz said: “…start a political process in earnest to address the sentiment behind it and resolve the dispute. It will not only save the lives of our youth but soldiers also, end militarization and the resultant atrocities that governor sahab wants Joint Hurriyat leadership to convey to him, and end the uncertainty and hostility that the region is hostage to for past 71 years.”

 

Mirwaiz also reacted to the army’s statement terming 2018 as ‘remarkable year’ because of militant killings calling the same “extremely unfortunate and inhuman.”

Mirwaiz called it strange that a well-trained armed  force meant to fight another well trained armed force was “celebrating and patting its back on killing young men and boys, some as young as 14, while some budding intellectuals and academics, and calling it remarkable.”

“…army’s boasting of the killings of militants, who are not some hard core armed guerillas and terror mongers, but sentiment driven youth forced to take to arms as a consequence of severe repression due to forcible control,” said the Mirwaiz, according to a statement.

“It is simply the intensity of their passion that drives these young boys, who are poorly trained and starved of ammunition to be able to give a real fight, in this greatly unequal battle to an armed force of a country,” Mirwaiz said.

He said the pain and loss that all of Kashmir feels at the killings of militants only adds to people’s resolve and pushes more young to join in.

“Instead of admitting this, the armed force of a country that prides itself in the history of its freedom struggle by honoring the likes of Subhash Chander Bose who raised  Indian National Army to fight the British colonial rule , sells the killing of these armed youth as a great achievement to people of India,” he said.

The chief cleric said many in Indian army have in their write ups and lectures admitted that Jammu and Kashmir is a political problem that has to be resolved as such.

“Those who are using militarization to prolong the status quo should understand that it comes with a cost and keeps increasing complexities,” said the Mirwaiz, adding that the whole world has said that there can be no military solution to the dispute.

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Drug Abuse in Kashmir: Over 300 cases registered, 482 peddlers arrested in 2018

Hirra Azmat

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Srinagar, Jan 18: Kashmir has emerged as one of the major consumers of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances with police registering over 300 cases against drug peddlers in the region during 2018.

As per the official figures of the police department, at least 312 cases were registered against the drug peddlers in the valley during the year.

Police arrested 482 persons involved in these cases. In 221 cases, the charge sheets have been filed while 91 are still being investigated.

 

Of the cases, 123 have been registered in south Kashmir followed by 108 in north and 81 in Central parts of the valley.

Police have also seized a huge quantity of contraband substances including poppy straw, fukki, brown sugar, charas, heroin, ganja, bhung putri, and opium straw from various parts of Kashmir.

As per official data, the drugs seized include poppy straw (1734.7 kg), fukki (850.61 kg), brown sugar (6.88 kg) and charas (73.27 kg), apart from other seizures of opioids.

Another disturbing trend has been the increased use of narcotic drugs including heroin, sedatives and painkillers.

“Use of these substances increases the intensity of addiction and hastens the process of complete subjugation to the narcotic dependence,” a police official said, adding that heroin is often considered as a “status symbol” among the drug addicts.

Last year, the report by Narcotics Control Bureau of Union Ministry of Home Affairs’ said J&K was among the top states in India in the cultivation of illicit crops.

The former chief minister, Mehbooba Mufti too had directed police to use Public Safety Act (PSA)–a law under which a person can be detained without trial for up to two years–against those involved in the cultivation and smuggling of drugs.

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RKFC vs Shillong Lajong FC: Snow Leopards aim repeating history

Firdous Hassan

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Shillong (Meghalaya), Jan 18: Real Kashmir FC head coach David Robertson Friday said the team’s five- day stay in Shillong has helped his players to prepare themselves “mentally as well as physically” for a “bigger” game against Shillong Lajong FC.

Before resuming their home leg, RKFC will Saturday face Shillong Lajong FC, which currently is rooted to the bottom with just four points from 12 games.

Last month, RKFC played dominating football against Shillong defeating it 6:1 at Srinagar’s Astro-Turf ground.

 

Coach Robertson, in a pre-match conference on Friday, said his players understood the technicalities of the venue, Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium, which is very similar to the visitor’s home turf.

“The Shillong playground is similar to that of Astro-Turf, which too has a synthetic turf.  Currently, there is good spirit within the team and players are ready for the match,” he said.

Coach Robertson said his team is confident enough for the upcoming match as all eight foreigner players are declared fit for the game.

“We are enjoying the season as we haven’t faced any defeat since March 2017 in away games. So, in tomorrow’s match, we are expecting some good results to get three points before our home matches resume,” he said.

The RKFC head coach said the pressure will be more on the host team but quickly added that Shillong Lajong’s ability to bounce back can’t be underestimated.

“It will be premature to predict about the upcoming game. There are chances that the game can be difficult for us but we have to continue our momentum to get good results tomorrow,” he said.

“There is great enthusiasm in my team and every game, irrespective of the team’s rank, is challenging for us,” Robertson added.

Shillong Lajong FC so far scored almost at a rate of a goal every match but has conceded at a rate of three goals a game, highlighting a rickety defensive line.

RKFC, on the other hand, is on an unbeaten run of eight games that has helped them accumulate 22 points after 12 rounds.

Shillong Lajong FC coach Alison Kharsyngtiew said the physical stature of RKFC players can give a tough competition to any team.

“Considering the physicality of the RKFC team, the game can be tough. But we are ready to give our best,” he said.

Asked about the reasons behind featuring at the bottom, he said his players are very young.

“This is the future of our national team and entire north-east. We have to guide them and encourage them to do better in future,” he said.

He said two of his players including defender Rakesh Pradhan and midfielder Hardy Nongbri are injured and won’t play the upcoming match.

 

 

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