The police showered bullets inside the Kashmir University campus and thrashed players during a cricket match on Monday when a ball landed in the Vice Chancellor’s lodge. The match in progress at the university was part of the army-sponsored Kashmir Premier League (KPL).
The policemen guarding the VC’s compound were already miffed when the ball, hit hard by a batsman, landed. When a player climbed the wired mesh-fence to retrieve it, an argument ensued. “Nevertheless, the matter was sorted out when other players intervened and the match resumed,” said Suhail Andleeb, vice-captain of Kashmir Greats club, who were playing Blossom Cricket Club.
But within half-an-hour, a group of policemen armed with guns entered the ground and went berserk, said Andleeb.
“They beat up the umpire, players and even fired bullets. It was as if a bomb had landed inside the VC’s compound,” said Andleeb.
No one, however, was seriously injured. As army officials rushed to the spot, the match was called off.
The incident triggered protests, with students raising slogans against the police. The vice chancellor immediately convened a meeting to discuss damage control measures.
“The policeman who opened fire has been suspended,” said university proctor M Afzal Zargar. “A high-level panel has been formed to inquire into the incident. We are ascertaining what happened and whether the firing was accidental, retaliatory or in self defense.”
“Our officers are there in the university and they are talking to the players and the university officials,” said army spokesman JS Brar.
A university official said the administration has decided not to allow any team or organisation from outside to play in the campus again.