Thursday, September 4, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

Jugraj injured in car accident
Prabhjot Singh & Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

This is what remains of the car driven by Jugraj Singh
This is what remains of the car driven by Jugraj Singh, which was involved in an accident near Paragpur, on the outskirts of Jalandhar, on Tuesday night. — Photo S.S. Chopra

Fans Jugraj Singh pray for his quick recovery
Fans of Jugraj Singh pray for his quick recovery at a temple in Amritsar on Wednesday. — PTI photo

Chandigarh/Jalandhar, September 3
Hockey star Jugraj Singh (20) was injured seriously in a road accident at around 10.30 pm last night. The Zen, No PB-A-63-0063, driven by Jugraj, hit the divider on the Phagwara-Jalandhar GT road near Paragpur, and dashed against an electricity pole as he tried to save a rickshaw-puller who was trying to cross the road.

Jugraj suffered multiple fractures in the right pelvic, thigh and right elbow.

Two of Jugraj’s friends were also injured in the accident. They were returning to the city with friends, who were travelling in a different car, after having dinner at a restaurant in Paragpur.

While Jugraj was referred to the DMC hospital in Ludhiana, his friend Rajwinder Singh, who was suspected to have broken his jaw was referred to Guru Ram Dass Dental Hospital at Amritsar at around 1 am. The other friend, Prabhjot Singh, was admitted the local Tagore Hospital, where his condition was stated to be improving.

According to Dr Sandip Puri, Medical Superintendent, DMCH, around 10 a.m. Jugraj was wheeled into the operation theatre, where he was first operated on for multiple fractures of the right femur in which Dr J.L. Bassi and his team fixed steel plates. Later the team operated upon his pelvic bone and right humerus. The operation lasted for over seven hours.

The doctors attending on Jugraj described his condition as “stable but serious.” A Germany-based Indian orthopaedic surgeon, Dr Joginder Singh Sahi, has offered to treat him in Germany.

“There is no life threatening injury but we are worried about his blood count. Since he bled profusely from a torn rectum, his haemoglobin count has dropped to a low of six,” the doctors at Ludhiana said.

Sahara India, sponsors of the Indian hockey team, have also offered to undertake all expenses to provide the best available treatment to Jugraj Singh.

Dr Joginder Singh Sahi, who was the manager-cum-doctor of Indian team in the 2003 Champions Trophy at Amstelveen, Holland, told The Tribune over telephone that he was “ready to do anything for Jugraj Singh, one of the most promising penalty corner striker on the horizon today. He is a penalty corner specialist and has one of the most powerful flicks in contemporary hockey.

“If the Indian Hockey Federation decides to send him to Germany, I can provide him the full treatment so that he is back on the field as soon as possible,” Dr Sahi said.

Jugraj Singh an Inspector in Punjab Police, was a star performer in India’s splendid 7-4 win over Pakistan in the round-robin league in the recently concluded Champions Trophy at Amstelveen last month.

“It is after a long time that we have found a good flicker,” says Mr Rajinder Singh, coach of Indian team who rushed to Ludhiana after hearing of Jugraj ‘s accident. His views are corroborated by his colleague, Mr Baldev Singh, hoping that “if given proper and timely treatment, Jugraj would recover fast and become available to the team for the prestigious tournaments ahead in next six months to one year.”

Besides, Rajinder Singh and Baldev, it was Gurmail Singh and his wife, Rajbir, who escorted Jugraj to Ludhiana DMC — Gagan Ajit, who was to accompany Jugraj to New Delhi today for recording, rushed from Ferozepore to Ludhiana as other international hockey players, including Olympians, and some prominent sports organisers gathered at the hospital.

“Though he will be able to walk in a week’s time, but his actual recovery will take about a minimum of three months. He has lost lot of blood which may slow down recovery. We are giving him blood,” the doctors said.

Meanwhile, the President and the secretary of the Indian Hockey Federation, Mr KPS Gill and Mr K. Jothikumaran, respectively, talked to Mr Harjinder Singh, father of Jugraj Singh at Ludhiana Hospital and assured him all help and financial support for the complete treatment of the young striker.

His father and mother are physical education teachers at Amritsar.

Former Indian captain and Olympian Ramandeep Singh along with several other international hockey players are camping at the Ludhiana hospital to oversee his treatment and provide any help, including blood, to get their star colleague back on his feet soon.

Mr Harjinder Singh said “Jugraj was trying to save a cycle-rickshaw that suddenly emerged from a by-lane when the accident took place. The unfortunate incident has taken place at a time when his career was beginning to shine. But I am hopeful that he will able to recover fully to play the 2004 Olympics”.

Doctors said it would take at least six to eight months of extensive rehabilitation before Jugraj becomes fit to play international hockey again.

Gagan Ajit Singh said “Since my mobile was switched off at night, I only learnt about Jugraj’s accident during my practice session in the morning. This is a major blow to the Indian hockey team and would adversely affect India’s chances in the Asia Cup and the Afro-Asian games”.

Rajinder said, “After Surjit, Jugraj is one of the most aggressive players in the Indian hockey and does equally well in attack and defence of penalty corners”, The incident is bound to have a very demoralising effect on the team.

Baljit Dhillon, another Indian hockey player, said he went to a gurdwara to offer prayers seeking early recovery of Jugraj. “The incident has stunned us and we are heading for Ludhiana,” said a worried looking Tejbir Singh.


Govt to bear Jugraj’s medical expenses
Our Sports Reporter

New Delhi, September 3
Union Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports Vijay Goel announced here today that the government would bear the medical expenses of hockey star Jugraj Singh.

Mr Goel said he spoke to the Medical Superintendent of the hospital, Dr Raju Cheena, and enquired about the condition of Jugraj, the Indian hockey team’s fulcrum in penalty corner conversion.

Mr Goel wished speedy recovery for Jugraj, who has been advised rest for eight to nine months.

He would therefore miss the Asia Cup and the Afro-Asian Games this year, but would be fit for the Olympic Games in Athens next year.

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