Sahara Warriors win Indri Indian Open polo championship - The Daily Guardian
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Sahara Warriors win Indri Indian Open polo championship



The Indri Indian Open polo championship concluded in Delhi on Sunday, with the Sahara Warriors bagging the winning title after scoring 10 goals against the Jindal Panthers, who scored five goals in a six-chukker match. The tournament, organised by the Piccadily Group, was held in the national capital’s Jaipur Polo Ground. The match was played in the presence of Chief Guest Venod Sharma, former Union Minister.

While speaking to The Daily Guardian, Venod Sharma said, “It was an interesting match and both the teams played really well and as in sports the best team always wins. I am delighted to be a part of this fantastic game.”

Other eminent guests present on the ground were MP and eminent lawyer Vivek Tankha, Israeli Ambassador Naor Gilon, and Managing Director and founder of ITV Network, Kartikeya Sharma, amongst a host of other industrialists and polo fans present at the Jaipur Polo Ground.

The final match was inaugurated by Member of Parliament and notable lawyer, Vivek Tankha.

Sahara Warriors won the Indian Open polo title for the fourth time, where its Capitan and Prince of Jaipur, Sawai Padmanabh Singh (Pacho, as he is known in polo circles) won the most valuable player of the match award, after he scored over five goals in the final match.

The final match between the Jindal Panthers and the Sahara Warriors began at around 3 PM on Sunday, with the Jaipur Polo ground filled with spectators and polo fans cheering for both teams. The match was a nail-biter in the first half when both teams were going head to head against each other.

After the first chukker, both teams had one goal each on the scoreboard, and the match went on a tightrope till the second chukker. After the second chukker, the Sahara Warriors pulled the match to its side, by scoring three goals, whereas the Jindal Panthers was restricted to three goals till then.

However, post this, the match almost went one sided, with Sahara Warriors exhibiting a fantastic game for themselves and restricting the Jindal Panthers to just five goals till the end of the sixth chukker, while the Sahara Warriors scored 10 goals in total in the game.

The Sahara Warriors was led by Sawai Padmanabh Singh (Pacho) along with his three other colleagues, Shamsheer Ali, Daniel Otamendi and Juan Cruz Losada. The Jindal Panthers on the other hand was led by Naveen Jindal himself and along with him, his three other teammates included J.P. Clarkin, Simran S. Shergill and Dirk Van Reenen.

Naveen Jindal, captain and founder of the Jindal Panthers team, while speaking to The Daily Guardian said, “This was an amazing game and I have thoroughly enjoyed it. The other team was an all-professional team. We started well, but then they took a lead and we could not catch up. Sahara Warriors dominated the game since the beginning and we are happy they won. They deserved to win today.”

Sawai Padmanabh Singh (Pacho), captain of Sahara Warriors, told The Daily Guardian, “It was a great game today. Although a tough match, but we pulled it off with my stellar teammates. The other three players in my team are thorough professionals and they supported me and we won. The Jindal Panthers were also a good team, but our team’s effort, dedication and a strong system that we had put in place made us win today.”

Apart from the final match, the Jaipur Polo Ground also witnessed an exhibition match before the finals began, where two teams, Indri and Aurika competed with each other.

The Indri team won the exhibition match.

Sanjay Kapoor, famous polo player who was leading the Indri team spoke to The Daily Guardian. He said, “It was a lovely weather in Delhi, with winter slowly setting in. I really enjoyed the game today. We dominated in the game against Aurika. They were a thorough team but we were able to pull off this victory. I thank the sponsor Indri for bringing in such lovely people and impetus to this Indian sporting event. Two weeks of Indian polo season are remaining and I am sure such events would certainly bring more talent to the fore.”

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Allegations of corruption in the recruitment of teachers and non-teaching staff in the state’s primary and higher education departments had been raised earlier. This time there were allegations of corruption in the appointment of the fire department. Based on this allegation, the Calcutta High Court issued an interim stay on the appointment of 1500 posts in the fire department.

In 2018, the state issued a notification for the recruitment of one and a half thousand fire operators in the fire department. The written test was done in 2019. The problem arose when the result was published. The complaint was that the test had the wrong questions. Even if there was a player quota or firefighting training certificate that matched the extra number or reserve, it was not given. It is even alleged that the job seekers have been given jobs in the scheduled quota.

Initially, the job seekers approached the SAT with all these allegations. There that the appeal was dismissed. Then they approached the Calcutta High Court. The case was heard on Monday in the division bench of Justice Harish Tandon and Justice Shampa Dutt Pal of the Calcutta High Court. Following the hearing, the Calcutta High Court issued a one-week interim stay on the appointment. The suspension will continue till next Tuesday. The next hearing of the case is on Monday. The court’s decision to fill the 1,500 vacancies in the fire department is currently uncertain.

It is to be noted that recently there have been allegations of corruption in the appointment of the state’s primary and higher education departments. The CBI is investigating the court order. The court is keeping a close eye on that investigation. A moratorium has also been issued on recruitment. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had spoken about this a few days ago. His regret, ‘How do I recruit? It is not possible to make an appointment without the permission of the court. I have always said that the decision of the court must be followed in all cases’. This time the appointment in the fire department was also stopped by the court order.

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Women’s under-17 assistant football coach Alex Ambrose sacked for alleged sexual misconduct



Former India international Alex Ambrose who has been charged with allegations of sexual misconduct was sacked from his position as assistant coach of the Indian Under-17 women’s football team.  The allegations were labelled by an unnamed player of the youth team during the squad’s preparation stint in Italy and Norway for the upcoming Under-17 World Cup which will be played in India in October across three different venues namely Bhubaneshwar, Margao & Navi Mumbai. 

Ambrose who plied his trade in the I-League for Mumbai FC who returned to India midway through the preparatory camp on AIFF’s diktat was placed under provisional suspension by the governing body of football in India. 

Without naming the coach, AIFF Acknowledged the incident and made it public through a media release. While the governing body of football in the country refrained from revealing the identity of the player, speculations were ripe and the murmurs grew loud that the unnamed person was indeed Ambrose.

  “An event of misconduct has been reported in the U-17 women’s team, currently on an exposure tour to Europe. The AIFF follows a zero-tolerance policy on indiscipline. As an initial action, the Federation has provisionally suspended the individual pending further investigation,” the statement read. But now as it stands, he has been sacked by the Supreme Court appointed Committee of Arbitrators (COA) tasked with running the daily affairs of AIFF till the federation conducts fresh elections and elect new office bearers. COA had earlier placed him under provisional suspension. 

“Alex Ambrose, Assistant head coach of Under 17 women’s team has been sacked for sexual misconduct. Further action under process,” Dr. S.Y Quraishi, a key member of the COA said on microblogging site Twitter.

Talking to the Daily Guardian, Dr Quraishi said that apart from the disciplinary action, legal action will also be taken against Ambrose. “Yes, definitely we will be taking legal action against him. We are still in the process of finalising the process and understanding the pros and cons of the situation. Once we have ironed few things, that is by tonight or tomorrow morning we will soon be filing an FIR with the police,” Dr. Quraishi told this newspaper over telephone.

Talking about the internal committee which will be conducting a probe on it own as well, the former Chief Election Commissioner of India said, “We already have a committee in place and have requested some other expert as well to join us on this as it will make the committee more strong.”

When quizzed if any special counselling session has been arranged for the members of the squad as the incident could be harrowing for them, Dr. Quraishi said, “No we have not done that yet. The players are still training abroad and once they are back, we will have a proper and thorough discussion with the players.”

The trouble for Ambrose meanwhile does not end here as the All India Federation of Coaches has decided to strip him of core team membership and all associated posts. 

“In light of the recent condemnable incident that happened in the IndiaU-17 Women›s National Team, The Association of Indian Football Coaches (AIFC)has come to a unanimous decision to strip Alex Ambrose of the core team membership and all associated posts,” AIFC announced through a social media statement.

The Members Associations (AIFF) also took condemned the incident and has requested the COA and AIFF administrators to conduct an independent inquiry as well file an FIR.

“State associations would like to recommend stringent action including legal and exemplary punishment with a life ban from football and even cancelling his coaching licenses,” Members Associations’ said in a statement.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that the new India should be an India of the dreams of fighters who gave their lives for the freedom of the country.

PM Modi also called on youths to work toward building New India with new opportunities, growth avenues and dreams. He was addressing the 125th birth anniversary celebrations of Alluri Sitarama Raju in Andhra Pradesh’s Bhimavaram. “Our new India should be an India of the dreams of fighters who gave their lives for our freedom. In past eight years, we have worked with full devotion, walking on principles of Alluri Sitarama Raju, we’ve worked towards the welfare of tribals,” he said.The Prime Minister said when the poor, marginalized, women, youth, and all citizens of the country come together, nothing can come in the way of New India.

“During India’s freedom struggle, the youth played a pivotal role. Today, as we are building a New India, the youth needs to come forward and contribute to this vision,” he said.

He further said that for the first time after Independence, to create awareness about Adivasi Gaurav and Viraasat the government is building museums to tell the story of the great tribal leaders of India.

“For the first time since independence, tribal museums are being set up to showcase the tribal pride and heritage in the country. ‘Alluri Sitarama Raju Memorial Tribal Freedom Fighters Museum’ is also being built in Lambasingi, Andhra Pradesh,” said PM Modi.

In his speech, PM Modi further said that it is the responsibility of everyone in New India to fulfill the dreams of heroes.

“Today, it is the responsibility of all of us countrymen to fulfill the dreams of these fighters in Amrit Kaal. Our new India should be the India of their dreams. An India in which poor, farmers, labourers, backward, tribals have equal opportunities,” added PM Modi.

He also remembered that once, Alluri Sitarama Raju dared the Britishers to stop him.

“Alluri Sitarama Raju once said – “Dum Hai Toh Mujhe Rok Lo!” Today, 133 crore citizens are saying to every hurdle in the path of the country’s development – “Dum Hai Toh Hamein Rok Lo!” said PM.

PM Modi also unveiled the 30-feet tall bronze statue of Alluri Sitarama Raju on the occasion.

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Siddaramaiah’s big birthday bash plan leaves party red faced

R. Jayaprakash



Barely a few days after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had a ‘peace meeting’ with senior state leaders in Delhi, the Siddu camp has put a grand plan in motion to mark his 75th birthday on 12 August outside the party fold, leaving the party high command red faced. The Siddu camp has eponymously called the celebration, the Siddaramaiah, 75 Amrutmahotsav.

The Congress leader had called KPCC President D.K. Shivakumar and Congress Legislative Party Leader in Karnataka state Assembly Siddaramaiah last week on 28 June to bring truce between the warring leaders and discuss party preparations for coming Assembly elections in the state. Elections to the state Assembly are due sometime around May next year. The meeting was held in the presence of Karnataka in-charge Randeep Surjewala and AICC General Secretary K.C. Venugopal. The meeting followed after Siddaramaiah tried to push his name as chief ministerial face in the next elections through the party high command a week before, when Siddaramaiah was in Delhi along with other state leaders to participate in the Congress ‘Satyagraha’ at Jantar Mantar.

However, it looks like that Siddu, as Siddaramaiah

is popularly known, has given the party high command’s peace efforts a snub as his camp made a big plan to mark his 75th birthday on 12 August outside the party fold.

During last week’s meeting, it was brought to the notice of party leaders about how Siddaramaiah was making efforts to project himself as chief ministerial face for coming elections and also organising ‘Ahinda’ (acronym for minorities/SC/ST and OBC) programmes outside the party banner and such initiatives would not benefit the party. According to sources, Siddu had been told in clear terms that nobody was above the party and all programmes must happen under the party banner. Yet, he is going ahead with organising a big birthday bash in his name in the state, sources said.

A committee comprising his loyalists – former Industries Minister RV Deshpande, ‘motor mouth’ KN Rajanna and former PWD Minister HC Mahadevappa – has also been put together for ‘Siddaramaiah – 75 Amrutmahotsav’ celebrations. Rajanna had raised some hackles when he said that Deve Gowda would soon be carried by four persons.

The troika is holding a press conference on Tuesday at a star hotel to make the announcement for ‘Siddaramaiah – 75 Amrutmahotsav’ celebrations.

Sources in KPCC told The Daily Guardian Review that the party is unaware of this press briefing and this issue is now being escalated to the party high command in Delhi. “When BS Yediyurappa turned 77 last year, he was the sitting CM then and the programme took place under the banner of the party. But here time and again Siddaramaiah is holding events to project and position himself as though he is indispensable. He hardly does any activity in the party ever since DK was given the charge of the party and now he has resorted to blackmail tactics,” sources said. 

While the press release has already been circulated by the Siddaramaiah’s office about Tuesday’s press conference, it remains to be seen if the party high command would rein in Siddu before it is too late.

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Four Congress workers were arrested for releasing black balloons after PM Modi’s chopper took off from Gannavaram Airport near Vijaywada in Andhra Pradesh. Police said there was no security breach on his arrival amid Congress protest and balloons were released five minutes after the Prime Minister’s helicopter left and arrests have been made.

The Prime Minister reached the airport after launching a year-long 125th birth anniversary celebration of legendary freedom fighter Alluri Sitarama Raju in Bhimavaram in the state. Police officials said that a strict security cordon was laid around the airport.

Vijay Pal, DSP, Krishna District said four Congress workers have been arrested in the case and a few more are yet to be arrested.

“The four arrested Congress workers will be produced before the court,” he said.

Police said there was no security breach during PM Modi’s arrival at Gannavaram Airport. Balloons were released five minutes after PM’s departure from the airport via chopper. However, the state BJP came down heavily on the government and said the PM’s security was compromised.

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Days after the Ministry of Home Affairs directed National Investigation Agency (NIA) to take over the probe of the brutal killings in Rajasthan’s Udaipur and Maharashtra’s Amravati, NIA chief Dinkar Gupta on Monday held a meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah at his office in the national capital.

On June 28, a tailor Kanhaiya Lal Kumar was beheaded by two men inside his shop in Udaipur in the broad daylight, while a chemist shop owner Umesh Kolhe was killed by several men in Amravati on June 21.

In Udaipur, curfew was relaxed for 12 hours on Monday as the situation in the Rajasthan city, which was gripped by communal tension following the brutal murder of a tailor by two men, remained peaceful. Mobile internet services were also restored after remaining suspended for days.

Following the incident, curfew was imposed in areas falling under the limits of seven police stations — Dhan Mandi, Ghanta Ghar, Hathi Pole, Amba Mata, Suraj Pole, Bhupalpura and Savina.

“A curfew relaxation of 12 hours, from 8 am to 8 pm, has been given today. The situation is absolutely normal,” Udaipur Collector Tara Chand Meena said. Another official said the suspension of mobile internet services in the city ended at 12 pm. Superintendent of Police Vikas Sharma said, “Policemen are deployed in the city to maintain law and order and the situation is normal and completely under control. Udaipur has been peaceful and appeals have been made to people to maintain the peace.”

In Amravati killing case, a district court in Amravati sent the key accused and Irfan Sheikh, the mastermind in the murder case to police custody till July 7. The accused, identified as Irfan Sheikh, was arrested by Amravati police in Nagpur on Sunday. The six accused have been identified as Mudassir Ahmad (22); Shah Rukh Pathan (25); Abdul Thoufique (24); Shoaib Khan (22); Atib Rashid (22) and Yusufkan Bahadur Khan (44).Investigators so far believe that the chemist was killed allegedly in retaliation for a social media post supporting BJP’s Nupur Sharma who had made controversial comments on the Prophet in a television debate.NIA on Thursday said it suspects the role of a “terror gang and not a terror outfit”.The anti-terror agency, however, made it clear that there is a role of a bigger gang behind the brutal killing and that it was not just an act done by only two persons, who were arrested by state police after the incident.

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