Shiv Sena threatens Pak on Champions Trophy

The party has threatened to prevent Pakistan from playing the tournament in India scheduled to start this week.

india Updated: Oct 04, 2006 18:25 IST

A right-wing Hindu group has threatened to prevent Pakistan from playing in India in the Champions Trophy tournament scheduled to start this week, officials said on Wednesday.

The Shiv Sena, said the step was to protest against July's bombings of trains in Mumbai that killed 186 people.

"How can they allow Pakistan to play matches in our country when the Mumbai police have evidence of its (Pakistan's) involvement in the July 11 terror attack?" Shiv Sena Executive President Udhav Thackeray said on Wednesday.

Mumbai police chief AN Roy on Saturday publicly accused Pakistan's spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), of orchestrating the attacks on trains that also wounded 800.

Thackeray did not elaborate on the Shiv Sena's plans to hold up the Champions Trophy, an International Cricket Council's biennial event to be played at four venues, including Mumbai, which will host the November 5 final.

Pakistan, one of the 10 participating countries, will fly to Mumbai only if they reached the final.

Two of their three league matches are in the northern city of Mohali and the third in Jaipur. The semi-finals will also be held in Mohali and Jaipur.

Maharashtra authorities said it will not allow any disruptions if Pakistan reach the final.

"Right now it is a hypothetical question but we are duty-bound to maintain law and order in the state," Maharashtra Home Secretary AP Sinha said.

"We have the warning but I will not issue comments on the remarks of a political leader," said Sinha, who is in-charge of the state's internal security.

Indian home ministry officials in New Delhi said Shiv Sena's threat has been passed to Jaipur and Mohali.

"Stadiums in these cities will be sanitised and extra security will be provided in view of this development," a senior ministry official said.

Shiv Sena dug up the pitch in New Delhi's Ferozeshah Kotla ground in 1999, eight years after damaging the ground of Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium to protest the Pakistani cricket team's presence in India.

First Published: Oct 04, 2006 18:25 IST