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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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Pulwama fallout: Mine-protected vehicles, 30-seater buses for CRPF

Press Trust of India

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Srinagar, Mar 25: The CRPF will procure a new fleet of mine protected vehicles (MPVs) and small 30-seater buses to ensure safety of its troop convoys in the Kashmir Valley, the chief of the force has said.

The paramilitary has also decided to enhance the number of its bomb detection and disposal squads (BDDS) for its about 65 battalions based in the Kashmir Valley for anti-terror and law and order duties.

These new measures have been chalked out by the force in the aftermath of the February 14 Pulwama militant attack in which over 40 personnel travelling in a bus, part of a convoy from Jammu to Srinagar, were killed by a suicide bomber as he exploded a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (IED).

 

“We are enhancing our counter-IED capabilities in Kashmir. We are procuring and sending more MPVs and are bullet-proofing force buses. As it is difficult to armour large buses, we are looking at procuring small 30-seater buses that can be better armour plated,” CRPF Director General (DG) R R Bhatnagar told PTI.

The force uses MPVs for limited troop movements in the anti-Naxal operations theatre and some of them are being used in Jammu and Kashmir too. About six personnel can travel in these four-wheeled vehicles.

Bhatnagar said small buses can be better fabricated and provided bullet-resistant armour as compared to the standard large buses that seat 54-57 people.

A similar large bus was blown up during the Pulwama attack.

Officials said once a large bus is fabricated with bullet-proof sheets, its engine takes a toll and its speed and endurance is restricted due to the weight of the additional metal used for the armour.

The CRPF chief said it has been decided to provide bomb detection and disposal squads to each battalion of the force deployed in the Kashmir Valley and those units which had them, will see an increase in the number of personnel and equipment to detect and counter explosives and IEDs.

Seats have been increased in the Pune-based IED education school of the force so that more personnel are trained in the trade of detection and disarming such bombs in Kashmir, Bhatnagar said.

The bullet-proof armour to the buses will only save force personnel from firing attacks by militants and will not provide fool-proof protection from explosions like the one that was carried out in Pulwama, a senior officer said.

To counter Pulwama-like attacks, new procedures for convoy movement and protection have been notified, he added.

The new convoy movement procedure involves restricting the movement of civilian vehicles, regularly changing halting points and dynamic movement of convoys to and from the Kashmir Valley, he said.

Facing criticism for allowing large convoys to ply on roads in an operationally sensitive area like Jammu and Kashmir, the home ministry had announced last month that all troops and officers of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) deployed in the Kashmir Valley can now take a commercial flight while going in to join duty or for tour and while proceeding on leave.

The CRPF cavalcade that came under attack on February 14 had seventy-eight vehicles and the ill-fated bus was fifth in line.

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‘Pak gives green signal to Sharda Peeth corridor’

Press Trust of India

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Srinagar, Mar 25: After the Kartarpur Corridor – which connects Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Narowal district with Dera Baba Nanak in India’s Gurdaspur District – Pakistan on Monday reportedly gave a green single to open Sharda Temple Corridor for Hindu pilgrims. The ancient shrine is located across the Line of Control (LoC) in Pakistan Administered Kashmir (PaK).

Express Tribune, a leading Pakistani daily quoting its sister organisation Express News reported that “sources in the ministry of foreign affairs said India’s foreign ministry already sent a proposal to open the corridor in this regard.”

The opening of the corridor to historic temple town has been a long-standing demand of Kashmiri Pandits and people who got displaced from the region in 1947.

 

“Pakistan has decided to open the Sharda temple. I am going to visit the place in a couple of days. I will also send a report in this regard to Prime Minister Imran Khan. Work on the project will start from the current year after which Hindus in Pakistan will also be able to visit the site,” Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) member of the National Assembly (MNA) Dr Ramesh Kumar told the Express News.

“The Indian government has written several letters to Pakistani authorities on this proposal,” the report said.

The shrine is a 5,000 years old highly reverent place of worship for Hindus. It is also considered the oldest education centre for some Hindus which was established in 237 BC during the reign of Maharaja Ashoka. The temple was also once regarded as the foremost centres of higher learning in the Indian subcontinent. It is also one of the 18 Maha Shakti Peethas, or a “Grand Shakti Peethas” and is considered to be the abode of Hindu Goddess Saraswati.

The ancient temple of Sharada and the adjacent ruins of Sharada University lie in Neelam Valley, 160 km from Muzaffarabad, and right across the LoC in a small village, Shardi or Sardi, where the river Neelam (Kishanganga) converges with the Madhumati and Sargun streams.

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‘Is JeI unlawful?’ GoI tribunal to decide

Press Trust of India

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New Delhi, Mar 25: The Government of India has constituted a tribunal headed by a Delhi High Court judge to decide whether there is sufficient cause for declaring Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir as an unlawful association.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on March 23 issued a notification which states that Justice Mukta Gupta would head the tribunal set up under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

Justice Gupta is presently heading another tribunal set up under UAPA to ascertain whether there was sufficient cause to extend the ban on the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) as an unlawful association.

 

The tribunal’s proceedings with regard to the ban on SIMI commenced on February 28 and is ongoing.

As the proceedings against SIMI commenced, the same day, the central government banned Jamat-e-Islami (JeI) Jammu and Kashmir for five years under the “anti-terror” law on grounds that it was “in close touch” with militant outfits and is expected to “escalate secessionist movement” in the state.

The government in its February 28 notification banning JeI said it was of the opinion that the Jamaat is “in close touch with militant outfits” and is supporting “extremism and militancy” in Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere.

It said the outfit claims “secession of a part of the Indian territory from the union” and supports militant and separatist groups fighting for this purpose.

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