As India-Pakistan’s upcoming cricket world cup face-off fever reaches its crescendo, the Jammu and Kashmir Police have urged people of Kashmir “to exhibit sportsmanship and avoid bursting crackers and creating ruckus, whoever wins the match.”
The police ‘request’ came just days after Pakistan and Indian cricket teams’ supporters, including paramilitary security forces, set alight crackers across the city on their respective wins in quarterfinal games. There were reports of Pakistan cricket team supporters hurling crackers at security forces manning bunkers in the city, even in uptown areas like Galwanpora, Hyderpora and Nehru Park.
“There are Indian and Pakistani supporters in Srinagar, even Australia is being cheered at in downtown Srinagar. So what is the big deal? It’s just a match. Bursting crackers are not only unethical but also un-Islamic,” Srinagar’s north zone superintendent of police Showket Hussain told the Hindustan Times.
Hussain said there would be an inquiry if any security installation resorts to bursting of crackers after the match is over. “We are always alert for such occasions. This is nothing new to Kashmir,” said Hussain adding “enjoy the match in its real spirit and do not lose temper if India or Pakistan wins the game”.
There are very few takers of the police urge on the streets. Many firecracker wholesale dealers in downtown Srinagar have sold crackers in bulk to retailers. “I have procured my stock for the India-Pakistan match. I will rattle the skies,” said Akram Majid, a resident of downtown Srinagar, hesitant to disclose his loyalty.