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Punjab backs out of netball tourney

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HEATED EXCHANGE: Vijayawada MP Lagadapati Rajgopal arguing with ACP Satyannarayana in Vijayawada on Monday. Photo: Ch. Vijaya Bhaskar
HEATED EXCHANGE: Vijayawada MP Lagadapati Rajgopal arguing with ACP Satyannarayana in Vijayawada on Monday. Photo: Ch. Vijaya Bhaskar

Staff Reporter

Posse of policemen posted at Indira Gandhi Municipal Stadium

District Collector Mittal revokes Sec. 144 and allows the conduct of tournamentPunjab team decides to fight NFI in the court of law in PunjabPunjab team did misbehave, says former Karnataka player Thilagavathi

VIJAYAWADA: Bringing down curtains on the high drama, Punjab Netball Association opted out of the ongoing 25th Senior National Netball championship on Monday. Defying the orders under Section 144 of the Cr.Pc, local MP L. Rajagopal tried to break open the main gate of the Indira Gandhi Municipal Corporation (IGMC) Stadium in the morning.

He personally supervised the commencement of the tournament, challenging the district administration.

However, after an 'in camera' meeting with Netball Federation of India (NFI) officials in the presence of Sub-Collector Ch. Bhanu Prasad here on Monday, the Punjab association withdrew from the race.

Mr. Prasad said District Collector Navin Mittal revoked Section 144 as the NFI served ban orders on the Punjab team and the latter conceded the same.

The Punjab Association decided to challenge the decision of the NFI in a competent court. Early morning, the Indira Gandhi Municipal Stadium turned into a khaki fortress with a posse of policemen led by assistant commissioners of police M. Satyanarayana and Sk. Vali descending on the stadium along with the Sub-Collector to implement the ban orders only to find Mr. Rajagopal defying the orders.

Misbehaviour alleged

Mr. Rajagopal alleged that Mr. Mittal "has brought disrepute to the post by favouring a relative at the cost of 700 innocent players.

It is unfortunate that the Collector is supporting a team, which was banned for misbehaviour with Karnataka women players at the ONGC Cup at Ahmedabad." Meanwhile, Mr. Rajagopal said he would raise the issue in the Parliament.The NFI lodged a complaint with the Machavaram police against the Collector charging him with threatening them.


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