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Sandeep ruled out of World Cup after bullet injury

Source: PTI
August 22, 2006 23:03 IST
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Indian hockey ace Sandeep Singh, who sustained an accidental bullet injury, has been ruled out of India's upcoming World Cup campaign in Germany.

Sandeep, who was travelling with teammate Rajpal Singh by the Kalka-New Delhi Shatabdi Express to join the Germany-bound team in Delhi, was injured when the pistol of an RPF officer went off "accidentally".

The condition of Sandeep, who was admitted to the PGI hospital here, was "critical" but "out of danger" after a long

After surgery at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) in Chandigarh his condition was said to be "critical" but "out of danger".

"A team of doctors at PGIMER performed a nearly three-hour long operation on Sandeep Singh. He withstood the operation well, but is still in a critical condition and has been shifted to the Intensive Care Unit. He is being monitored by doctors and the support staff," PGIMER's Medical

Superintendent Professor Anil Kumar Gupta told reporters.

Asked about Sandeep's condition, Gupta said he is "out of danger, but we will closely monitor him for another 48 hours", adding that the player would require to stay at the hospital for at least three weeks.

Meanwhile, the Indian Hockey Federation shortlisted three players, one of whom will replace the injured drag-flicker in the World Cup in Monchengladbach, Germany, to be held from September 6-17.

IHF president K P S Gill said that Sandeep has been ruled out of the World Cup and would be out of action for some months.

An IHF official said chief coach V Baskaran would decide on Sandeep's replacement for the tournament.

"Raghunath, Jugraj Singh and Vikramjit Singh have been selected. They will accompany the Indian team to Europe and will take part in the practice matches in Cologne," IHF Chief of Protocol Suresh Sharma said.

"Taking their performance into account, the coach will select one of them for the mega event while the other two will come back," he added.

India will play some practice matches against Belgium in the run-up to the World Cup where Baskaran will pick the best performer for the quadrennial event.

Earlier, GRP Inespector General of Police R K Vaccher said ASI Mohar Singh of RPF was sitting next to Sandeep in the train when his pistol "accidentally" went off and hit the player.

Team-mate Rajpal Singh, who was sitting on Sandeep's left, told reporters that suddenly there was a loud noise as the express train was proceeding to Delhi.

Immediately after that (loud noise) Sandeep fell down on his seat in the air-conditioned chair car compartment, Rajpal said, adding that Sandeep started crying, saying that something had hit him.

Following the incident, the Shatabdi Express was detained for 75 minutes at Kurukshetra and the player was rushed to a civil hospital there. The Assistant Sub-Inspector of RPF was later arrested, railway sources said.

Asked whether any action would be taken against the RPF officer, Vaccher said, "At least for mismanagement of the weapon. It's not that he fired at (Sandeep)."

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