Indo-Pak match has Kashmiri parents worried

Indo-Pak match has Kashmiri parents worried

Indo-Pak match has Kashmiri parents worried

Sunday’s much anticipated India-Pakistan World Cup cricket match brings a sense of worry to a number of Kashmiri parents whose children are studying in different parts of the country.

They are making frantic calls to their children, advising them to stay away from cricket-watching venues or crowds.

Manzoor Ahmad, whose son studies in a private engineering college in Noida, is anxious like the hundreds of other parents whose wards study outside the state.

“I have told my son just stay away from any common hall or canteen where the match will be watched. I have told him to stay indoors, as I don’t want him to land in any unnecessary trouble,” he told Deccan Herald.

In March last year, around 60 Kashmiri students of Swami Vivekanand Subharti University were slapped with sedition charges for supporting the Pakistani cricket team. The charges were dropped following the intervention of the then Jammu and Kashmir chief minister, Omar Abdullah.

An article on the anxiety of Kashmiri students studying outside the state, written by one Chandigarh-resident MBA student Syed Tajamul, in a local daily on Saturday, said: “I am studying in Punjab, and since the past three days I have received nearly 100 phone calls from my parents, relatives and well-wishers suggesting that I ignore the match and stay away from any kind of commotion in this context. If this is an indicator, parents' anxiety and unease can be easily understood, and all this for just a silly cricket match!”
Questioning the logic of those who target Kashmiri students for supporting the Pakistani team, he said, “I don’t know any law book that withholds the right to cheer or support any team or player, and yet the perception is that every person living in India must necessarily support only the national team. It is some sort of sardonic pleasure people take when they refuse this right to anyone.”

Meanwhile, in Kashmir, people are eagerly waiting for the “battle”, with firecrackers selling like hot cakes.

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