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IPL to issue strict guidelines for franchise owners says Shukla

This year’s IPL was rocked by a spate of controversies involving franchise owners as well as players and the furores ranged from molestation charges against a player to a scuffle between a team owners and stadium authorities in Mumbai

New Delhi: Stung by the controversies and scandals this season, authorities at the Indian Premier League (IPL) will put in place strict guidelines for franchise owners to ensure that the glamorous event's brand image is not dented in future.

Although this year's IPL drew massive crowds, it was rocked by a spate of controversies involving franchise owners as well as players and the furores ranged from molestation charges against a player to a scuffle between a team owners and stadium authorities in Mumbai.

The league's boss Rajiv Shukla conceded that there were fears of brand IPL taking a hit due to the negative press but things seem to have settled down and he would ensure that there is no repeat by having a word with franchise owners.

"We are not going to protect any player. We will definitely take action against anyone found guilty and we will tell franchises also to be very careful about these things and that they should also keep a strict eye on the activities of the respective players and support staff of their side," Shukla told PTI in an interview.

"In IPL 5, the main focus was on the cricket. We were more concerned about the organisation of the game. When I took over as chairman my aim was to maintain the sanctity of the game. The focus was on the game," he asserted.

"I think the season was a major success because the game was successful. Whatever controversies erupted were not related to us. We haven't got any police agency to look into the cases."

Shukla said the IPL authorities are firm in dealing with any erring player and this has been conveyed to the franchises as well.

"Whenever anything is reported back to us by the police and we find that the players are guilty, we definitely take action," he said.

Asked whether the controversies dented the IPL's image, Shukla said, "Initially, people thought so but I don't think that any controversy had any adverse impact on the IPL because the kind of response we got from the people, showed that it had nothing to do with the IPL."

"Those were strictly confined to individuals. But even if tomorrow something comes to our knowledge, we will take strict action whether it is spot-fixing or anything else."

Shukla said any allegation has to be backed by evidence for the IPL to take action. "You don't know what is going on in an individual's mind. The day something comes to our knowledge, we will take strongest possible action on that. We are very prompt in taking action," he said.

"When spot-fixing was brought into our notice, we immediately suspended five players despite the fact that there was nothing against IPL 5. An inquiry is going on.

"In future, if something comes up, we will take strong action. BCCI is the only body in the world which has not pardoned its players who have been accused in fixing. As far as the rave party was concerned, that was a private party. IPL does not conduct any official party," he added referring to the spot-fixing sting operation by a TV channel and the detention of a couple of IPL players during a Mumbai rave party.

On Sports Minister Ajay Maken's suggestion that the BCCI should delink itself from the IPL, Shukla said, "IPL is a sub-committee of BCCI. IPL is a domestic league of BCCI. It cannot be segregated. IPL has grown because of the effort of the people in the BCCI and support of the cricket fans.

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Ranvir Sena chief Brahmeshwar Singh shot dead in Bihar

Singh, alias Mukhiya ji, who faced life imprisonment in several cases of carnage he had perpetrated on the lower caste landless poor was acquitted and released from jail in April this year

Ara (Bihar): Brahmeshwar Singh, who headed the outlawed private militia of landlords, Ranivr Sena, was shot dead by unidentified assailants in Bhojpur district on Friday, triggering tension in the area where authorities have clamped day-long curfew, reports PTI.

Singh was taking a stroll when the unidentified gunmen pumped several bullets into him, killing him on the spot at Katira Mohalla under Nawada police station, 71 kms from Patna, the police said.

Singh, alias Mukhiya ji, who faced life imprisonment in several cases of carnage he had perpetrated on the lower caste landless poor, including in Laxmanpur Bathe where 61 Dalits were massacred in December, 1996, was acquitted and released from jail in April this year.

Between 1976 and 2001, Bihar had witnessed a number of massacres executed either by the feudal forces or by the self-styled champions of the landless poor.He is also suspected to have organised carnages in the districts of Jahanabad, Aurangabad and Nawada in the 1990s.

As the news of the killing spread, hundreds of Sena supporters gathered at the site of the killing and shouted anti-government slogans.

They also tried to chase away policemen including the superintendent of police, who had arrived on the spot.

A day-long curfew has been imposed in the town as a precautionary measure and police patrolling intensified as tension ran high.

"We have imposed a day-long curfew on Ara town," Sub-divisional officer Dharmesh Kumar said, adding the situation is tense but under control.

Prohibitory orders under section 144 CrPC were also enforced in the district after the killing of Singh.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has called upon the people in Bhojpur to maintain peace and harmony.

Kumar, who is in Bhagalpur in connection with his "Seva Yatra", said senior officials had been despatched to Ara to help maintain law and order..

Brahmeshwar Singh had set up his dreaded outfit in the mid-1990s when caste armies, professing to protect rights of different groups, had sprung up all over Bihar.

Apart from Laxmanpur-Bathe, the Sena also allegedly organised massacres at Mianpur and Bathani Tola.

According to the police, the Sena was allegedly involved in as many as 29 massacres between 1995 and 2000 and remained the most formidable adversary of the ultra-Left extremist groups as well as the state police.

Singh, who held a political science post-graduate degree from Patna University, was arrested in Patna in 2002, and with that a decline in the number of caste armies ensued.

He had been on bail in the last of the 22 cases against him.

In April last year, a Bihar court had sentenced 16 persons to death and awarded life imprisonment to 10 others in the Laxmanpur-Bathe case.

But Singh, who was one of the accused, escaped punishment as he was declared an absconder, though he was lodged in Ara Jail in connection with other cases.

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ved prakash

5 years ago

Its Bad news......

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New Army chief says leave behind past

Asked to comment on the strain in civil-military relations in the recent past, the new chief of Army said he will have a look at the problems and find a way ahead

New Delhi: New Chief of the Army, Gen Bikram Singh on Friday said the happenings of the recent past should be left behind but made it clear that no controversy will brushed under the carpet, reports PTI.

"Car is driven by seeing ahead through the windscreen and not through the rear view mirror. My issue is that whatever has happened should be left behind and drive looking from the windscreen in taking the army ahead," he told reporters after inspecting a guard of honour outside the Defence Ministry.

He was asked about Defence Minister AK Antony's advice to forget the turbulence of the recent past.

Asked to comment on the strain in civil-military relations in the recent past, the Army Chief said he will have a look at the problems and find a way ahead.

"I have had five tenures in Army Headquarters and this will be the sixth one. We have had no problems in the past at least. Let me see what the problems are and we will take it forward.

"I am certain that given the wisdom on both sides, given the commitment on both sides, I am sure that there will be no problems," he said.

Sending a firm message to his 1.3 million force, Gen Singh said he will strive to maintain its "secular and apolitical" outlook.

"Let us continue to be a secular and apolitical force and do our job the way it should be done," the 59-year-old General said a day after taking charge of the force from Gen VK Singh whose tenure was mired in controversies.

He was asked to spell out his message to the army amid reports suggesting factional feuds at senior levels, a new low in civil military relationship and corruption allegations.

On allegations of a fake encounter in northeast and recent clash between officers and jawans in Ladakh, Gen Singh said all these cases would be dealt as per the rule book and "nothing should be brushed under the carpet".

"I think there was a letter by my Chief of Staff to 3 Corps to investigate those allegations and let me tell you that there is nothing which should be brushed under the carpet. I wish to assure you this," he said.

The Army Chief was asked to comment on allegations levelled by a major in letters to Chief of Army Staff, Eastern Command and 3 Corps Headquarters that a fake encounter was carried out by an intelligence unit under the 3 Corps in March 2010 in which three civilians were killed.

Asked if he felt that Nagaland-based 3 Corps was trying to brush things under the carpet as suggested by his predecessor yesterday, he said, "I am not saying that. I did not say that.... I am not going to comment on my worthy predecessor."

Yesterday, Gen VK Singh had said he was alarmed that no investigation was carried out by the 3 Corps despite directions from the Army Headquarters into the allegations.

Asked how he was planning to deal with the incidents of clash between jawans and officers in Nyoma, alleged misconduct of jawans in UN mission in Congo and the allegations of fake encounter in Nagaland, he said, "All these cases will be dealt with as per the rulebook."

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