Friday, December 14, 2018 | 12:05 AM

Police in north Kashmir arrest 3 youth, hunt for 22 others for playing Pakistani national anthem before match

Monday, January 8, 2018

Police have arrested three youth and are hunting for 22 others for standing in honour of Pakistan’s national anthem being played before the start of a match in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district.

The arrests were made after a video of the incident, which took place on January 3, went viral on social media.

In the video, two cricket teams – one wearing green and another white – are purportedly seen standing in attention in two lines on either side of the pitch as the Pakistan’s national anthem played in the background. The players bowed their heads as the loudspeakers blurted Pakistan’s anthem.

A case vide FIR number 4/2018 dated 4th January 2018 has been registered in police station Bandipora under section 13 of the unlawful activities (prevention) Act, 1967.
Those arrested were identified by the police as Latief Ahmad, Mudasir and Irfan Ahmad.

“All the three were the organisers of the match,” a police official told Greater Kashmir. The FIR, he said, was registered after a video of the final match of cricket tournament ‘Harmuk sports tournament’ went viral on social media.

“In the video, the players and organisers were seen singing the Pakistani anthem. They were attentive and bowing their heads while the anthem was being played,” the official said, adding that players were seen in two opposite rows. 

The match was played between the teams from Arin and Dardpora villages of Bandipora.

“One of the team players wore green uniform, but nothing was inscribed on it,” the official said, adding that the three youth arrested were identified from the video.

“22 others, including two government employees, have been identified and the hunt is on to arrest them,” the official said.

This is not the first incident where cricket teams in Kashmir were booked for playing the Pakistani anthem. In April 2017, a group of Kashmiri cricketers were detained after a video clip surfaced on social media showing them wearing the Pakistani team’s jersey while the country’s national anthem played in the background.