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Kashmiri cricketers arrested for wearing Pakistan team jersey

SRINAGAR: Indian forces have arrested Kashmiri cricket players after their video surfaced on the social media showing them wearing Pakistan’s team jersey with the Muslim country’s national anthem playing in the background.

The clip of the players went viral on the social media soon after it was shared by a user on the internet.

The Indian media quoted Central Kashmir deputy inspector general of police, Ghulam Hassan Bhat, as confirming that the cricketers were detained for questioning. “The boys are in the police station.”

Security has been beefed up as residents have gathered near the police station, demanding immediate release of the 11 players, who reportedly represent a cricket club from the Kalmul area in central Kahsmir’s Ganderbal.

The video shows a scenic location surrounded by mountains, which the Pakistani portal identified as Wayil playfield in Ganderbal.

Sources said the video was from a cricket match between two teams, one representing Pakistan and the other India.

The players impersonating the Pakistan team turned out in that country’s colours, while the team representing India wore white.

“National anthems of both countries were played, like in any international match,” clarified a Ganderbal resident who didn’t wish to be named.

The Pakistani portal said the match was played on April 2, the day Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Chenani-Nashri tunnel, the country’s longest on the strategic Jammu-Srinagar national highway — the sole surface link that connects Kashmir Valley with the rest of India.

Hindustan Times reported that the counter-terrorism National Investigation Agency will fly from New Delhi to the Valley on Thursday to probe the cricket incident.

The players of Baba Darya Ud Din team, named after the popular saint whose shrine is situated in Ganderbal, was wearing green uniform of Pakistan.

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