Hockey player shot at inside Shatabdi Exp

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Indian hockey player Sandeep Singh has been successfully operated upon in PGI Chandigarh and the bullet removed after he was accidentally shot.

Updated: February 25, 2007 11:36 IST
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Indian hockey player Sandeep Singh has been successfully operated upon in PGI Chandigarh and the bullet removed after he was accidentally shot on board a train to Delhi on Tuesday. The 20-year-old was travelling with his Indian team-mate Rajpal Singh on the New Delhi-bound Shatabdi Express from Kalka, when he was accidentally shot by an assistant sub-inspector of the Railways Police Force. It's almost become a jinx for the Indian hockey team in recent years, with their key penalty corner specialist suffering a bad accident before a major tournament. If Jugraj Singh's car accident before the 2003 Asia cup came as a body blow for the Boys in Blue, Sandeep Singh's bullet injury will no doubt dent India's chances in next month's hockey World Cup. The bullet from the assistant sub-inspector's service pistol injured Sandeep in the lower-back region. The Railways say they will charge the officer with negligence since it was an accident, while Rajpal says his reaction when he shot Sandeep was quite strange. "The man reacted as though he was stunned and couldn't believe that he had accidentally shot Sandeep. But he didn't seem very apologetic, nor did he try to help us in any way," said Rajpal Singh, member, Indian hockey team. "It seems to be an accident and the civil police have registered a case in Kurukshetra. The incident occurred at around 8:15- 8:20 am," said A K Gupta, Railway ADRM, Ambala Cantt. Blow to hockey team The incident comes as a big blow to the Indian hockey team, which has been preparing for next month's hockey World Cup in Germany, at two conditioning camps in Bangalore and Chennai. They will now leave for Monchengladbach on Thursday without their penalty-corner expert, whose conversion rate in recent tournaments has been phenomenal. "He is not going to be able to play the World Cup. He may recover in time to play later in the season but at the moment he's out," said Pargat Singh, former Indian hockey captain. "This comes as a huge loss to our team, since he has become a key player as our penalty-corner specialist," said Dilip Tirkey, captain, Indian hockey team. This is the second time an Indian penalty-corner expert has met with a bad accident before a major tournament. Sandeep's predecessor Jugraj Singh is yet to recover his old touch since a bad car accident in 2003, and it now seems as though Sandeep's promising career could also be nipped in the bud.

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