More names may get into Arjuna list

The Arjuna Awards Committee, which will be meeting again on Tuesday to take a decision on boxer Manoj Kumar, is also likely to consider the names of three other sportspersons.

Sources said on Monday that the panel, apart from Manoj, could also re-open the argument in the case of hockey and may be that of roller-skater Anup Kumar Yama of Hyderabad.

It has also been learnt that list of awardees selected earlier by a panel headed by Kapil Dev may not be disturbed. This could mean that boxer Jai Bhagwan, who lags Manoj by two points, would retain his name in the recommendations made by the committee.

Yama had won two bronze medals in the last Asian Games in Guangzhou in 2010, apart from several medals including gold in World Championships and Asian Championships between 2010 and 2013.

Manoj’s name was not considered during the panel’s meeting on August 12 after his identity was mistaken with that of a school-level boxer, who also goes by the same name and was handed a suspension in 2012 for a doping offence.

None of the seven hockey players recommended for the Arjuna appeared in the 15 names picked by the panel last week, prompting a protest from Hockey India (HI) secretary-general Narinder Batra. The names recommended by HI were Joydeep Kaur and Ritu Rani from the women's team and Dharamvir Singh, V R Raghunath, Tushar Khandker, Bharat Chetri and Shivendra Singh from men’s.

His argument seems to have made an impact with the ministry and sources did not rule out the possibility of hockey getting two Arjuna awards.

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