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Gujjar violence in Rajasthan
Naraingarh on high alert
Amrita Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Ambala, May 24
Fearing a backlash to the happenings in Rajasthan, the district and civil administrations today sounded a high alert in the Gujjar-dominated belt of Naraingarh.

Though no untoward incident was reported, a strict vigil is being kept with senior district officials touring the area in the afternoon.

Naraingarh has a sizeable Gujjar population and the community has a vote bank of about 20,000. Though the Gujjar movement last year had seen unrest in parts of Haryana, Naraingarh had remained peaceful.

A few Gujjars gathered today at the Panchayat Bhawan, Naraingarh. According to sources, they later dispersed and a meeting is now scheduled on Monday.

Meanwhile, the civil administration has adopted all measures to deal with any emergency. Talking to TNS, deputy commissioner Mohammad Shayin stated that the police was prepared to move at a short notice.

“We visited the place today and took stock of the situation. To be on the safe side, we have taken necessay precautions keeping the Rajasthan violence in mind.”

A decision to deploy additional police force in Naraingarh will be taken on Monday after the meeting of the Gujjar community.

However, the Gujjar community of the town is not keen to protest violently. Looking for a peaceful solution to the problem affecting their community, they want the government to give them a patient hearing.

Talking to TNS, Naraingarh MLA Ram Kishan Gujjar stated that they would not be holding any violent protests; on the contrary, they would protest peacefully and submit a memorandum to the concerned authorities. “Last year also, the protest here was peaceful and this year, too, we will protest peacefully.” He opined that the protest should be peaceful in Rajasthan too.

“Last year, members of the Gujjar community from Rajasthan had come to ask for support from those based in Haryana. No one has come so far to Naraingarh,” stated Gujjar. “Even if they do, we will peacefully support them,” he added.



Staff shortage ails hospitals
Ayurvedic hospital faces fund crunch
Attar Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 24
Government Ayurvedic Hospital, attached with Government Ayurvedic College, has fallen on bad days because of paucity of funds and shortage of qualified specialists.

The 106-bed capacity hospital is a picture of neglect with many of its indoor wards lying locked. For months together, there has hardly been any admission in the indoor wards. The situation has gone from bad to worse since 2002 when the system of free diet for indoor patients was scrapped.

The indoor wing of the hospital, located in the busy Sher-e-Punjab market, is in a shambles. The building has not got a coat of paint for the past several years. Broken windowpanes and cement plaster peeling off from the roofs only add to the hospital’s pathetic state.

Medical superintendent B.K. Kaushik told The Tribune that indoor admissions had declined steeply because there were no specialists in most departments. No surgeries were being performed and the operation theatre was hardly being put to use. He said specialists were only available in the disciplines of charak and panchkarma.

Kaushik said scrapping of the free diet scheme in 2002 had badly affected indoor admissions. He said if a patient got admitted to the indoor ward, he preferred to be discharged in the evening.

However, Kaushik said the hospital had tied up with charitable institutions like temples and gurdwaras for supplies of free meals for indoor patients whenever there was need.

Medical superintendent said the hospital was woefully short of funds and could not make available medicines to the patients. The hospital had an annual budget of Rs 1.92 crore out of which Rs 1.87 crore was spent on staff salaries. The hospital was also facing staff shortage as out of the total strength of 113, there were only 93 employees on rolls. He said just 70-80 patients were visiting the OPD daily.

City resident Harpal Singh recalled how this hospital drew crowds from all over the region almost two decades ago. It was very famous for ayurvedic surgery operation for piles and patients used to come here from the adjoining states of Haryana and Himachal.

Kaushik said there could be an upswing in the fortunes of the hospital if the government gave more funds and filled up the vacancies of specialists in various disciplines.



Kharar Civil Hospital a vicitm of govt apathy
Megha Mann
Tribune News Service

Kharar, May 24
The Kharar Civil Hospital is working amid acute staff shortage. Three posts of doctors have been lying vacant for the past six months. Two posts of class IV employees and two posts of clerks are also lying vacant.

The hospital urgently needs a medical specialist, an orthopaedician and a radiologist. Its radiologist, who was on deputation from Dear Bassi, is on leave for the past one and-a-half month. In his absence, patients have no option but to shell out money for X-ray from private laboratories. Hospital authorities say they have written to the department seeking immediate posting of a new radiologist, but nothing has been done so far.

With an average of 10,000 OPD patients per month, the hospital is also managing medico-legal cases falling under the police posts of Majat, Kurali, Balongi, Gharuan, Landran and Kharar. Postmortems in all medico-legal cases are conducted at the hospital. The hospital also looks after the cases referred from the nearby government health centres. In addition to that, it also serves accident victims.

Also, the only blood bank of district Mohali, at the Kharar Civil Hospital, is working sans pathologist. SMO Dr Jai Singh doubles up as the pathologist as well.

None of the doctors have a class IV employee attached to them except for the senior medical officer (SMO). The clerk on deputation from food lab, Chandigarh, looks after the file work of SMO office and maintains eight types of accounts.

Sources say irrational distribution of staff in Mohali district is responsible for the state of affairs. After the mini PHC at Phase 3BI, Mohali, was dissolved, its entire staff was shifted to the Phase VI Civil Hospital, instead of sending some to Kharar.

While the Kharar Civil Hospital is understaffed, the Kurali community health centre is overstaffed. Instead of having five doctors against the sanctioned posts, the centre has around seven doctors. Also, its shifts are being managed by health professionals of Boothgarh area.



Thousands gather to get a glimpse of dera chief
Tribune News Service

Ambala, May 24
Thousands of followers of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh gathered here in Ambala Cantonment today to catch a glimpse of the dera chief after his hearing in the CBI court.

Traffic chaos prevailed as followers gathered at Gandhi Ground on the Ambala-Jagadhri road. Cops had a difficult time diverting traffic. Extra security personnel were also deployed to ensure no untoward incident occurred.



91 sensitive polling stations in Ropar
Tribune News Service

Ropar, May 24
Out of total 593 panchayats, 91 polling stations in Ropar district have been marked sensitive and eight marked as very sensitive. Elections to two have been postponed, 229 elected unanimously and 364 will go to election on May 26.

The very sensitive polling booths are from Nurpur Bedi block. These include Jhajj, Sameerowal, Thana, Jhandiyan Kalan, Badwa, Bajrur, Nurpur Kalan and Takhtgarh. Sensitive polling booths include 16 from Anandpur Sahib, 17 in Nurpur Bedi, 25 in Ropar, 18 in Chamkaur Sahib and 15 in Morinda.



President’s Cup
Boxing team leaves sans ace pugilist
Ravi Dhaliwal

Patiala, May 24
The Indian boxing contingent left the National Institute of Sports (NIS) late yesterday evening sans top pugilist Akhil Kumar to take part in the prestigious President’s Cup slated to be held at Chinese Taipei from May 25.

The President’s Cup assumes all the more significance as in this edition; only those boxers who have qualified for the Beijing Olympics are being allowed to take part.

The Indian team’s preparations for both, President’s Cup and Beijing Olympics, hit a roadblock when ace pugilist Akhil Kumar failed to make it to the team.

After giving it a lot of thought, the team management has deemed it fit not to put more stress on Athens Olympian Akhil Kumar owing to his wrist injury. Akhil was recently operated upon in South Africa and NIS doctors have advised him to stay away from competitive boxing till he is fully cured. At present he is undergoing post-operative rehabilitation.

Those who will be testing their skills among the world’s best at Chinese Taipei are Vijender Kumar (middleweight), Jitender Kumar (flyweight), Dinesh Kumar (light heavyweight), all three of whom attained qualification at the Asian qualifying tournament at Kazakhstan recently, and A.L. Lakra (featherweight), who had qualified earlier. Along with Akhil, all these four boxers have also qualified for the Beijing Olympics.

G.S Sandhu, a senior NIS boxing coach and now the chief coach of the national squad, is optimistic about the performance of the players. He is not deterred about the challenge his boys will face at Chinese Taipei.

Speaking about preparations for the President’s Cup, the Dronacharya Awardee coach said participating in the international competition would be the best way to prepare their strategy as well as assess the pugilists in the run up to the Olympics.

“Keeping in view the intense preparations the boys have gone through at the camp at NIS, a medal in Beijing is not that difficult as many people believe,” Sandhu said.

Indian players will be flying to Germany in the first week of June for a training programme with German pugilists and then compete in the International Chemie Cup there.



Challenger Trophy
ERCA (A) register win
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 24
Edmund Rice Cricket Academy (A), St John’s, and APJ, Kharar, started their campaign on a winning note on the opening day of the All India Challenger Trophy Under-14 Cricket Tournament being organised at St John’s High School, Sector 26, here today.

In the first match between ERCA (A) and ERCA (B), the former registered 40 runs win over ‘B’ team. Batting first, ‘A’ team put on a total of 179 runs in the stipulated 29.3 overs.

Shashya Shekhar stole the highlight with his 64-run knock in 44 balls while the other notable contributor Balwinder Singh chipped in 44 runs.

For ERCA ‘B’ team, skipper Vardaan Arora 5 for 43, including a hat trick, was the pick of the bowlers.

In reply, ERCA (B) started well with an opening partnership of 83 runs between Vivek (21) and Vishnu (39) but thereafter, they kept losing wickets at regular intervals and were all out for 139 runs.

For ERCA ‘A’, Shashya Shekhar played the key role with tearing apart the batting lineup of the rivals with his clinical bowling spells.

Shashya took five-wicket haul, conceding 14 runs. He was well supported by Dinesh Choudhary, who picked up three wickets for 30 runs

In the second match, APJ School, Kharar, beat Vivek High School by 9 wickets. Electing to bat first, Vivek High team were skittled out on 101 runs in the stipulated 30 overs.

Shivam Bhambri was the top scorer with 32 runs whereas Manik made 20 runs. For the APJ team, Mayank took 3 wickets for 17 runs.

In reply, APJ team played well and overhauled the target of 102 runs in 24.4 overs.

With their unbeaten knocks, Pukhraj (36 n.o.) and Sarthak (27 n.o.) guided the team to win.

Earlier Kavita Das, principal, St John’s High School, inaugurated the tournament. Brief Score

ERCA (A): 179 in 29.3 overs (Shashya 64, Balwinder 44, Vardaan 5 for 14).

ERCA (B): 139 all out in 22.1 overs (Vishnu 39, Vivek 21, Shashya 5 for 14, Dinesh 3 for 30).

Vivek High School: 101 all out in 25.4 overs (Shivam 32, Mayank 3 for 17, Narinder 1 for 3).

APJ: 102 for 1 in 22.2 overs (Pukhraj 36 n o, Sarthak 27) Tomorrow’s matches: Rohini vs Dev 8.30 am at St John’s and Pioneer vs Nathu Ram 1.30 pm at St John’s.



Federation Cup
City federation selects probables
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 24
The Cricket Federation of Chandigarh (CFC) today has selected its team for participation in the coming All-India National Federation Cup Cricket Tournament being conducted by the Cricket Federation of India (CFI) in Chandigarh and Panchkula from May 28 to June 3, said CFC general secretary Ravinder Talwar.

The selection was made during a coaching camp at MCM DAV College in Sector 36. The selected players will undergo further training before the Federation Cup.

Sachin Kumar has been appointed coach of the team while B.S. Thakur will be the team manager.

Team: Navdeep Thakur, Mohit Singh, Amolveer Singh, Rahul Sharma, Chand Kumar, Prabhji Singh, Prince Rathore, Rohni Handa, Varun Birla, Nimish Gupta, Gaurav Bhanwer, Sajal Malkotia, Vishal Gupta, Rahul Nahar, Virat Rana, Sam Sidhu, Arshveer Sandhu, Ankur Gupta, Jatin Sharma, Aarjav Raj Singh, Vipin Kumar, Prakshit Rana and Siraj Allam.



Football course concluded
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 24
The six-week India Football Federation (AIFF) introductory coaching course concluded under the supervision of AIFF director (coaching) Gabriel Joseph at St Stephen's School in Sector 45 here on Saturday.

Ten women and 14 men were awarded certificates. Encouraged with the response, the Chandigarh Football Association has decided to request the AIFF to conduct more coaching courses, including Licence-C coaching course from next year.

All India Football Federation conducted the course.

Those who successfully completed the course were: Suman Deep Kaur, Anjana Thakur, Meena Kumari, Poonam, Poonam Deol, Pooja, Parvinder Kuar, Kamaljit Kaur, Jaskiran Kaur, Harnoor Kaur Chahal, Surjit Singh, Dinesh Patrick, Raman Jinta, Kartik Bhardwaj, Viney Kanwar, Kanwar Vinod Kumar, Kulwinder Singh, Vishal Rana, Vijay Bhatt, Ramesh Chand Bhatt, Ashutosh Sharma, Mohak, Pankaj and Mukesh.



Visually impaired learn martial arts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 24
The students of Institute for Blind, Sector 26, learnt self-defence technique and demonstrated various martial art techniques. Major General (retd) Rajinder Nath, chairman of the school, today inaugurated the demonstration and the training session delivered by Sunil Dutt, the Black Belt.

The blind students showed physical exercise movement and demonstrated Taekwondo skills. “I have taught martial arts to blind students in a week’s time. I will continue this practice and serve these special children without charging any fee”, said Sunil Dutt.



Ram Prakash lead table tally
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 24
Ram Prakash and Vikas Sharma are leading the tally table with 5.5 points after the culmination of sixth round in the Bobby Fischer Memorial Chess Tournament being held at DAV College, Sector 10, here today.

Points after 6th round: Ram Prakash 5.5, Vikas 5.5, Himal 5, Sanjeev Sood 5, Ashwani Nirankari 5, Harbans Singh 5, Anurudh Garg 4.5, Ameek Malhotra 4.5, Vinit Bansal 4.5, C.M. Sharma 4.5.

Vajpayee 4.5, Joshi 4.5, Sumit Mahajan 4.5, Intakhab Alam 4.5, Saurabh Goel 4, Sunil Bansal 4, Harish Sharma 4, K. Viswanthitha 4, Satbir Pannu 4, Surinder Marwaha 4, Amarjeet Singh 4.

Manpal Singh 4, Sanjeev Kumar Jain 4, Pranjal Kaura 4, Akash Bhardwaj 4, K. Aditya 4, Iqvinder Singh 3.5, Tejas Nagpal 3.5, Cheema S.S. 3.5, Sandeep Minhas 3.5, Shweta 3.5, Barinder Pal Singh 3.5, Sundeep Singh 3.5, Gitin Oberoi 3.5. Abhinav Bansal 3.5, S.P. Gupta 3.5, Kamaljeet 3.5, Sachleen Singh 3.5, Nipun 3.5, Rajesh Khosla 3, Harinder Pal Singh 3, Zubin Arora 3, Saurabh Sandhir 3, Rishu Rathi 3, K. Koumudi 3, Jit Singh 3, Abhishek 3, Mayank Kaura 3, Yatin Bansal 3, Anita 3, Anubhav Tuknayat 3.

Kushaal Singla 3, Manish Sehgal 3, Simranjeet Kaur 3, Manu Agarwal 3, Vinod Kumar 3, Mehul Jotshi 3, Vikram Huda 3, Shrishti Jain 3, Vishwa Poswal 3, Madan Lal 3, Kirpal Singh Pannu 2.5, Arunima Goyal 2.5, Satyam Tondon 2.5. Raghu Arora 2.5, Rahul Astir 2.5, Ayushman Sinha 2.5, Simran (Jal) 2, Jay Arora 2, Jayatinder S. Hundal 2, Monu 2, Pankaj Khular 2, Gagandeep 2, Gauri Chuttani 2, Karan Ahuja 2, Armaan Deep Singh 2. Harinder 2, Shivangi 2, Tanya 2, Dinesh Kumar Palsawal 2, Prince Sharma 2, Neeraj Kumar 2, Shubham Jindal 2, Saarthak Chuttani 2, Shivam Sahni 2, Dhruv Sandhir 1.5, Tarini Goyal 1.5, Sachin Sapra 1, Sahil Dhawan 1, Piyush Khanna 1, Jaskeerat Singh 1, Priyanka 1, Kashish 1, Gagandeep Singh 1, Nipun Khanna 0.



I’ve let myself down: Afridi
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 24
The explosive Pakistani batsman Shahid Afridi is unhappy with his performance in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL).

“I am totally disappointed with myself as I could not live up to the expectations of my team as well as my fans, who had high hopes on me. With my poor show here, I feel that I have also let down my team managers,” the swashbuckling batsman said while having a talk with The Tribune before leaving the city.

When asked whether he made any special preparations for the IPL, Afridi, who is a part of Deccan Chargers team, denied: “No, I did not undergo any special preparation for the league matches. Actually, there was lot of cricket, including domestic and international, back in Pakistan before coming to India. Neither I had time, nor I intended for any special training for the shortest version of the game”.

Talking about five-year ban on Pakistani pacer Shoaib Akhtar, Afridi said the ousting of one of the fastest bowler of the world from the team would not have any negative effect on the team morale.

“Time has come when every player of the team has to deliver and give his contribution in the team’s win. These days no team depends on one or two players for win. Even the young players of India have proved that they can win without senior players, including Sachin Tendulkar. We have also won many matches in the past without Shoaib. So his non-availability would hardly effect the team,” Afridi said.

Lauding aged players like Sanath Jayasuriya for putting up good show in the aggressive Twenty20 IPL matches, Afridi said these players not only have defied their age but also have removed the misconception that T20 is the game of young players.

“Though age matters for bowlers but I feel that the batsmen in the age between 32 to 38 can survive in the this format with their skills. It is not that one hits blindly in Twenty20. Only the batsmen, possessing good basic skills, can be successful here”, Afridi said.

Afridi, who came here with his family, said his family enjoyed the stay in India.



Chain snatching continues in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 24
Kanta Sharma, a resident of Sector 43, reported to the police that her chain was snatched from a park near her residence.

According to the 70-year-old resident, a youth in his mid-twenties, was standing near her, he snatched her chain and sped from the spot. A case has been registered at the Sector 36 police station.

In another similar incident, Pratibha a resident of Sector 15, alleged that her gold chain was snatched while she was going to the market, along with her son, while Padma Devi, a resident of Sector 45, alleged that two unidentified youth snatched her gold chain.

Kesar Singh, a resident of Sector 51, reported that Rs 2000 and other items were stolen after breaking through the locks of his verka booth. A case under Sections 457 and 380, IPC, has been registered at the police station in Sector 24.



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