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HindustanTimes Fri,11 Jul 2014

Sena threat to Pak series; Govt assures security

Agencies  Mumbai/New Delhi, November 05, 2012
First Published: 15:04 IST(5/11/2012) | Last Updated: 20:21 IST(5/11/2012)

Even as the Centre on Monday assured foolproof security to the Pakistan cricket team during its upcoming India tour, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray asked party activists "not to permit" the forthcoming matches between the two countries anywhere in India.

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"We will provide foolproof security to the Pakistan cricket team," union minister of state for home RPN Singh told reporters in New Delhi.

His comments came in the wake of Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray opposition to the India-Pakistan cricket series, saying his party won't allow Pakistan cricket team to play in India.

"The matches will happen as per schedule. Those opposing it should take the game as game only," Singh said.

Home ministry sources said the Central government will ensure three-tier security to the Pakistan cricket team during the matches and their practice in stadiums.

Bal Thackeray asked "staunch Hindus and patriotic public" not to allow the ensuing India-Pakistan cricket matches in India, unless Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde withdraws his statement on "forgetting the past" to play cricket with Pakistan.

"Shinde saheb, if you have an iota of shame left, then withdraw this shameless remark of yours," Thackeray said, in a statement in Sena mouthpiece Saamana.

"I am bed ridden but even in this condition, my blood boils (over Shinde's statement) and hence I am making this appeal to my Hindu brethren to disrupt these matches," Thackeray said.

"You say let bygones be bygones. What to forget and how to forget," Thackeray said, referring to the Parliament attack and 26/11 Mumbai terror strike.

The 86-year-old leader, who has dubbed Pakistan's India tour, which begins next month, as "a national shame", said Maharashtra government has dismissed the mercy petition of Ajmal Kasab and the central government should also follow suit.

Earlier, Thackeray had termed the BCCI's decision to go ahead with the India-Pakistan cricket matches "as betrayal" of the country for money and said Indian cricketers were part of that betrayal.

Thackeray's nephew, MNS chief Raj Thackeray, has also opposed the Pakistan cricket tour in India, which would comprise three one-day internationals and two Twenty20s.

The venues are New Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and Ahmedabad.

The two countries have not played a bilateral series since Pakistan's tour of India in 2007. Cricket ties between the two countries were snapped following the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his then Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani had watched the high-profile World Cup semi-final in Mohali last year.


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