Kashmiri cricketers arrested for playing Pakistan national anthem in pre-match ceremony


After 2016 political protests, which continued for five months, trend of Pakistan's national anthem being played at all major political and sports gatherings emerged across Kashmir.

Jammu and Kashmir police have arrested four individuals for playing the Pakistani national anthem on a loudspeaker during a cricket match at a local club in the Bandipora district of North Kashmir.

The video, apparently shot on a cell phone, went viral a week ago. The incident took place on January 3. The arrests came in after the video went viral on social media. Apart from arresting four localities, the police have also registered a case against the two teams for participating in unlawful activities. "Jammu and Kashmir is India and only Indian anthem will be played here and Indian tricolour unfurled", said BJP legislator Ravinder Raina.

Police confirmed that they have booked the two teams but did not give details about the number of people who were arrested or the identity of the teams.

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This is not the first instance where Kashmiri cricketers have disrespected the nation by paying respects to Pakistan's national anthem.

Zulfiqar Azad, SSP Bandipora told Kashmir Wire "We have made arrests in this regard and have counseled the village elders". Two Kashmiri cricket teams have been booked and several players reportedly detained for standing just when Pakistan's national anthem was being played at a cricket match last week.

The video that popped up on Facebook on Saturday showed two cricket teams lined up on the pitch before the start of a match. However, the detained were soon let off following assurances from their parents.