Kashmiris beaten, cricketer abused after India loses to Pakistan - ednews.net

6 December, Monday

Kashmiris beaten, cricketer abused after India loses to Pakistan

Kashmiri students assaulted and bowler Mohammed Shami faces online abuse after Pakistan’s win at T20 World Cup in Dubai.

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Before the India-Pakistan Twenty-20 World Cup cricket match in the United Arab Emirates on Sunday, the Indian team took a knee in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.
 
India lost the match – Pakistan’s first victory against the arch rival at any World Cup.
 
As soon as the match at the Dubai International Stadium ended, some Kashmiri students celebrating Pakistan’s victory were attacked in India.
 
Even a Muslim member of the Indian team was abused on social media following the loss, despite captain Virat Kohli acknowledging his side had been “outplayed” by Pakistan.
 
Cricket clashes often worsen the tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbours, who have fought three wars since their independence from the British in 1947.
 
‘I feel unsafe’
 
Muzamil, a Kashmiri studying in a college in Mohali district in western India’s Punjab state, told Al Jazeera that minutes after the cricket match ended, “a group of nearly 20 goons gathered outside our hostel”.
 
“We had never seen those faces and had no idea who they were. They had sticks and they beat up three of my friends. I was afraid and didn’t leave the room,” said the 22-year-old who did not want to disclose his full name for fear of reprisals.
 
After the assault, Muzamil said his friends were forced to move into the house of another friend, as they feared for their safety.
 
 
 
“This was a game and supporting any team is an individual’s choice. What happened to us is really, really wrong,” he told Al Jazeera.
 
“It happens with us in [New} Delhi and everywhere else. As a Kashmiri student, I feel unsafe in India.”
 
“But it was suicidal to do so in Punjab,” said Nasir Khuehami, the national spokesperson of Jammu and Kashmir Students’ Association, referring to Kashmiris celebrating Pakistan’s win.
 
“They are a minority in mainland India and the celebrations were stupid. Knowing that your life is in danger, it wasn’t a wise step.”
 
Kashmir is claimed by India and Pakistan, which rule over parts of it. The Indian side of the Himalayan territory has been witnessing an armed rebellion for decades, with many residents supporting a merger of the region with Muslim-majority Pakistan.
 
Khuehami said at least 14 Kashmiri students were attacked across India following the match, with seven of them sustaining serious injuries.
 
He said he spent the rest of Sunday night responding to calls of distress from Kashmiri students, despite the police saying they had not heard of any such attacks on Kashmiris.

 

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