The ban imposed on ‘bajri’ (riverbed sand) mining in Rajasthan took an ugly turn with the sand mafia allegedly beating a 50-year-old sarpanch to death in Sawai Madhopur district on Thursday. Raghuveer Singh Meena, sarpanch of Hathdoli village, was killed when he went to the Bouli area to check loading of sand illegally dug out of the Banas river.His body was cremated in his native village on Friday. Police registered a case of murder against 21 persons, including nine accused. People involved in illegal sand mining, armed with sticks and stones, attacked Mr. Meena, who was accompanied by a team of Mining Department and a few policemen. The accused hurled stones on the officials when they entered the land in Hindpura village and forced them to retreat. ‘Bled to death’In the melee, Mr. Meena was injured by a stone and fell on the ground. The assailants fled and a profusely bleeding Sarpanch was rushed to a hospital in Sawai Madhopur. He was later referred to Jaipur, but he succumbed to his injuries.
S Sreesanth.S. Sreesanth will replace injured medium pacer Praveen Kumar in the squad for ICC World Cup, beginning on February 19. The all-India senior selection committee of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Tuesday picked Sreesanth as Kumar’s replacement. The International Cricket Council (ICC) had allowed Kumar’s replacement in the team. Kumar was ruled out of the World Cup due to an elbow injury that he had sustained before the ODI series in South Africa last month. Though it was expected that he would be fit in time, Kumar was yet to recover fully. The fiery pacer from Kerala was present at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bangalore on Monday when Kumar failed his fitness test. Sreesanth was instrumental in ensuring India shared the honours in the Test series against South Africa. His omission from the World Cup squad last month had surprised many considering his recent performances.”I got an opportunity, I will do my best. I am very excited to play for India,” said Sreesanth.