The Japanese team in Lucknow for the Junior Men’s Hockey World Cup, had a taste of local ‘goondaism’ on Friday while returning to their hotel after their match from Major Dhyan Chand Stadium.
According to eyewitnesses, a SUV bearing the Samajwadi Party flag and a hooter overtook the Japanese players’ bus near Khurramnagar crossing and intercepted it. Before the bus driver could understand anything, two youths, one carrying a rifle, jumped out of the vehicle and started abusing and threatening him for overtaking their SUV.
Shocked by the incident, the Japanese players bolted the bus door from inside. The players remained stranded at the spot for almost 20 minutes. By the time local cops came the two youths fled from the scene but left their vehicle behind.
“The team officials faced some tense moments till the bus moved on from there,” said an official taking care of the team’s travel.
Strangely, the police escort vehicle, deputed for the security of the players, zoomed past their bus even as the bus driver was being threatened.
“They (the youths) took it as a big insult that our bus overtook their SUV on the way,” said a team official on condition of anonymity.
“We later checked the two youths but there was no weapon with them,” circle officer, Ghazipur, Dinesh Kumar Puri, told HT.
The incident only spoilt the day further for the Japanese players as earlier they had lost their match to Spain 1-4 in the championship.