A video featured Kashmiri cricketers playing Pakistan’s national anthem as well as donning Pakistan jersey went viral yesterday. As a result Indian police arrested the group of players on Wednesday, considering it as an act of defiance. The match was played on the day (April 2) when Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, paid a visit to Kashmir to inaugurate a tunnel. The match was played in Central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district, where polling for Indian Parliamentary by-elections for Srinagar constituency is scheduled on April 9, 2017. However, reports say that a few members found participating in the anthem against the law.
According to a report by The News, Ghulam Hassan Bhat, Deputy Inspector General of Police, confirmed that “the boys are in the police station.” Nevertheless, the identities of the players have not been revealed yet. Besides, a group of people, standing outside the police station, have demanded immediate release.
A report in The Indian Express quoted a member of the team, saying: “We wanted our team to look different and also wanted to show fellow Kashmiris that we haven’t forgotten Kashmir issue, so we found this particular theme as most appropriate and catchy.” It further quoted one of the members: “Why should we be scared when Kashmir is a disputed territory and Allah is with us?”
Earlier, a fan of Virat Kohli was sent behind bars in Pakistan for showing his support to the Indian captain. A similar fate had befallen upon a gentleman who had sported Shahid Afridi’s jersey in Assam.