Pak anthem plays at J&K cricket match, three players held

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Four Kashmiri boys were arrested on Sunday in Jammu and Kashmir's Bandipora district for lining up as Pakistan's national anthem was played before the start of a cricket match. The other team was in whites.

The trend of Pakistan's national anthem being played at major sports gatherings emerged across Kashmir following the 2016 political protests.

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While talking to Kashmir Reader, Senior Superintendent of Police Bandipora confirmed the incident and that an FIR has been filed.

The 1.45-minute video showed one team in green jerseys like the Pakistani cricket team. In May a year ago, a video showed members of two teams, "Shining Stars Pampore" and "Pulwama Tigers", lined up before the game with the national anthem of Pakistan-administered Kashmir playing on tape. "The anthem was played live on Facebook and it went viral then".

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"We have registered the case and investigation is going on", SSP Bandipora, Sheikh Zulfikar Azad told ET. Several players were booked for bowing their heads in honour of Pakistan's national anthem, which was played before the start of the match in Bandipora district. The teams involved were MCC, Gondipora and Dardpora Cricket Club.

At-least 11 Kashmiri cricketers were detained in April a year ago in central Kashmir's Ganderbal district after a video clip had surfaced on social media, showing them wearing the Pakistani team's jersey with the neighbouring country's national anthem playing in the background.

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Soon after the video surfaced, the police registered a case and arrested three players who participated in the match.

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