The arrest of two Kashmiri cricketers on suspicion of carrying explosives and their subsequent release has shocked cricket lovers in Srinagar who say the players were harassed as they belonged to the valley.
Meanwhile, the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA) has demanded an apology from the Karnataka police and lodged a strong protest against the arrest of the two players in Bangalore where they had gone to participate in a national championship.
"Our boys were harassed and then released. The Bangalore police should apologise for the harassment of players. The JKCA will decide Sunday whether or not the team should withdraw from the tournament," general secretary of JKCA Saleem Khan told IANS here.
Describing Saturday's incident as "most unfortunate and shocking", Khan said: "We are in touch with our president and Union Minister Farooq Abdullah to decide the future course of action."
He said the team had been accommodated inside a hostel in the stadium complex by the hosts and their baggage had been checked during check-in on Friday.
Senior state government officials were on their toes after the news of the arrest of Parvez Rasool and Mehraj-ud-Din, who were picked up by the Bangalore police after traces of explosives were found in their bags.
Sources said top police officers here contacted their counterparts in Bangalore immediately to ensure the players were released without any delay.
"Such incidents are unfortunate and only add to the alienation. The development should have been handled carefully without the media hype," said a former cricketer.
A senior JKCA member said the bags had been given to the players by the association before their departure and had been purchased in New Delhi recently.