Published On: Tue, May 31st, 2016

Umpire calls no-ball in local match, sister killed


ALIGARH: The little, dusty town of Jarara, 20 km from Aligarh, had with a lot of fanfare recently announced that its JPL – the Jarara Premier League – would begin from May 14 and end on May 30. It was declared that the winning team would take home Rs 5,100. The tournament began as scheduled and things were going fine till one of the umpires, Raj Kumar, in a match on May 28 called a “no ball” at a crucial moment in the game between Jarara and Bariki.

noball-sisterAngry at the “unfair decision”, Sandeep Pal, one of the players, went up to the umpire and asked him to reverse the verdict. When Kumar didn’t relent, Pal said the umpire would pay dearly for the mistake and that he would lose one of his family members. Kumar brushed off the threat. In the badlands of west UP, violence during sporting events is normal and threats of murder fly thick and fast. But that was another “mistake” the umpire made.

On May 29, Pal, who knew what time Kumar’s family members went out to tend to their fields, stopped his 15-year-old sister Pooja and three of her friends and offered them cold drinks laced with poison. The girls knew Pal and didn’t suspect anything and gulped down the drinks.

Pooja collapsed moments after that and the three others are in hospital. Pal had come good on his threat. A distraught Rattan Pal Rawal, the pradhan of Jarara, shook his head in sorrow and told TOI on Monday , “I always knew it was a bad idea to hold such a cricket tournament here. My fears have come true.

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We resisted the formation of this JPL from the very beginning because these people don’t know what sportsmanship is. They are touchy and violent. See what has happened in the first season itself.” He added, “Give them a bat and they will swing it on each other’s face ” Bobby Khan, president of the JPL Khair Cricket Committee, said, “This (JPL) was formed after much resistance. We had met the zila panchayat members, the pradhan and other elders before formally inaugurating it this month.

One of the conditions was that in case of a dispute no one would take matters into their own hands. But that’s not what happens here, does it?” Station officer at Khair, Sukhdev Yadav, said the death of Pooja is being investigated. “Four girls were given poison as they set out for their fields,” the officer confirmed.
“While one of them has died, the three others have been referred from the local hospital to a bigger one in Aligarh. From the site of the incident, we found another bottle that had a potent insecticide in it. We will get to the bottom of this in a few days.”
No one knows if Jarara will ever have a cricket tournament of this kind and Pal has been declared an absconder by the police. Kumar, meanwhile, says he will not referee any match in future.

About the Author

Syed Ammar Alavi

- is Lahore (Pakistan) based journalist & writer with 25-year experience in print, wire and broadcast forms of journalism. His major fields of interest are politics, film,tv,sports, climate change and technology