Kashmir cautious ahead of India-Pakistan match

"Prohibitory orders are in force in the city and no assembly is permitted here without prior permission of the concerned district magistrate," a senior police officer said here.
The state government is keeping an eye on the old city areas here which have been the hotbed of separatist sentiment in Kashmir. Authorities say they would be strictly implementing the orders banning the assembly of five or more people.

"Times have definitely changed and we are expecting everybody to behave in a sportsmanly manner," a police officer told IANS. Meanwhile, the cricket fans are all geared up for the expected sporting treat. “When these two teams face each other, Kashmiris get excited because of reasons beyond just cricket.

“Similarly, in other places outside the Valley, it is not always because of their interest in the game that people exhibit strong emotions during an India-Pakistan clash. “This puts tremendous pressure on both the teams. The Indian players are especially going to come under heavy pressure because of the home crowd.

“Unfortunately, the game has been converted into a war and nobody can deny the fact that the media in both India and Pakistan have added fuel to fire,” former Ranji player and selector Muhammad Ashraf said. Firecracker sellers in Srinagar said they were doing booming business.

"I have almost exhausted my entire stock and the demand is still unending", said Mehraj-ud-Din, a firecracker seller here. Many office goers, school students and businessmen have decided to take a day off Wednesday.

“My family has decided to remain indoors tomorrow and watch the game at home,” said Imtiyaz Ahmad Wani, 47, a college teacher here. Some local cricket lovers have already left for Mohali to try their luck in getting a place inside the stadium.

“My cousin left two days back to reach Mohali. He has since been desperately trying to get a ticket,” said Manzoor Ahmad, 24, a resident of Hyderpora uptown area in Srinagar city.

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