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

Two cricket teams have been booked for standing in honour of Pakistan’s national anthem being played before the start of a match in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district

As Jammu and Kashmir's four boys arrested as their only fault that they respected Pakistan's national anthem, the four boys who have been arrested are from Bandipora district. "The anthem was played live on Facebook and it went viral then". The players can be seen standing with their heads bowed as the Pakistan national anthem plays in the background over loudspeakers. "There was a local cricket tournament going on at Arin and it was the final match of the tournament", said a source. The players are standing in two lines, the players of one team wore green jerseys and one is in white. The incident took place on January 3.

Last year, police in Hyderabad had arrested four Kashmiri students after they refused to stand up during the national anthem of India.

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Senior Superintendent of Police of Bandipora Sheikh Zulfikar Azad told Greater Kashmir that the police had held a "counseling session" in the village.

As per local reports, the police have arrested 4 Kashmiri cricketers and are on the lookout of the organisers of the event. The match was being played between Gondipora and Dardpora Cricket Club.

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In April 2017, a similar incident was reported from central Ganderbal district, where youths had played the Pakistani national anthem at the start of a local cricket match.

This is not the first time that cricket matches have led to arrests in Kashmir.

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