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Seemingly unfazed at being ousted from the Asian Athletics Association, scam-tainted Suresh Kalmadi on Monday said losing the presidential re-election bid to Qatar’s Dahlan Jumaan Al-Hamad has actually given him a chance to work at the “grassroots” level.
“I have no issues today and I congratulate Mr Al-Hamad for being elected as President. I am rather relieved that I will be able to work at the grassroots level in athletics,” Mr. Kalmadi said after losing the vote during the ongoing AAA Congress in Pune.

National News

Assam villagers angry at ULFA extortion bid

Tuesday - Mar 13, 2012, 02:20pm (GMT+5.5)
[+] Text [-]

Guwahati -  The United Liberation Front of Asom's (ULFA) reported demand that a hospital in Assam should cough up Rs.20 lakh has triggered mass anger.

People in at least 20 villages near Chabua town in Upper Assam's Dibrugarh district are up in arms against the banned outfit.

ULFA asked the St. Luke's Hospital at Chabua to pay the money a few days back.

Located about 25 km from Dibrugarh, the hospital is a charitable institute of the Diocese of Church of North East India. Set up in 1920, it is the first charitable medical centre in the northeast.

The villagers are furious as the hospital is the only hope for thousands in about 50 villages.

"It is the only hospital providing almost free medical service to the poor and the needy," said a senior police official.

The official said the villagers had volunteered to protect the hospital and its staff.

"We have registered a case regarding the extortion demand. The demand was made on an ULFA letterhead," said the official.

"It is difficult to confirm whether the extortion was made by ULFA or petty criminals. We are probing the incident," he said.

The hospital, equipped with X-ray, gynaecology and general surgery facilities, mainly serves the poor tea garden workers and nearby villagers who cannot afford medical care elsewhere.

A hospital source told IANS: "We charge nominal fees from patients. In fact the doctors and staff render social service to the needy as they draw lesser salaries than those in other hospitals."


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