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Govt scaring away trainees at GN stadium

After a failed bid to overtake Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar State Sports Complex, the state government is using fear factor to scare the trainees away, reports Sharad Deep.
Hindustan Times | By Sharad Deep, Lucknow
UPDATED ON JUL 12, 2007 06:47 PM IST

After a failed bid to overtake Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar State Sports Complex (Gomti Nagar Stadium), the state government is using fear factor to scare the trainees away.

And it’s working out. Yes, the presence of gun-totting security personnel and a police camp inside the stadium has cut down the scores of trainees drastically.

"Presence of cops inside the stadium do terrorise the trainees here, and that’s the reason why the scores of the sportspersons have been reduced to 300 from the earlier existing total of 750," said a coach, refusing to be identified.

The parents too appear scared with the presence of cops inside the stadium. "We come here with our kids (trainees) regularly, but always fear of any sudden move by the cops as what they did on Monday night was very scary when they chased out the residents of the stadium," said a parent Pratyush Singh.

"I also welcome the move of the government’s announcement to establish a new stadium in Gomti Nagar area, but I do feel that the Gomti Nagar Stadium should be allowed to exist till the construction of the new venue," he added.

On Thursday evening, one Sheela Jaitley also appeared scared while coming to the stadium along with daughter Smriti, who plays tennis there. "Since the Monday night incident here, I don’t leave my daughter alone here as anything can happen at this place," she said, adding, "If this fear factor continues to prevail after July 19, I would be the first one to withdraw my daughter from the tennis training."

A young cricketer Sanyam Singh, who comes to the stadium from Daliganj on cycle after covering 5 km distance every day, was quite upset over the government’s plan to takeover the stadium for other purposes. "For the last seven years I am a regular trainee of the stadium. Here I see Team India stars RP Singh, Suresh Raina and other top cricketers of the State Ranji team practicing daily. But what happens to cricketer like me of the stadium was razed and the training was stopped here?" he asked.

"I would be shifting my base to Kanpur as there is no other place like Gomti Nagar Stadium where a cricketer can hone his skills to go on top," added Singh, 14.

The worst hit of this fear factor is tennis, which owns the major chunk of the trainees here. The scores of trainees have been reduced to 45 from 125. "Every parents want an assurance from us about the security of their kids here. But we are not able to do so as we ourselves are also scared of any untoward incident," said a tennis coach.

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