Srinagar: Celebrations broke out in several parts of this capital city and elsewhere on Thursday after the Indian cricket team was knocked out by Australia in the semi final match of the world cup played at Sydney Thursday.
Reports and witnesses said that groups of jubilant youth hit the streets of this capital city minutes after Australia beat the Indian team by 95 runs in their home turf Sydney. Chanting pro-Pakistan and anti-India slogans, the youth burst fire crackers to express their joy over India’s defeat. In a reminiscence to the 2010 mass uprising, many youth were seen forming circles and doing the famous “Ragda”dance by tapping their feet on the ground.
In Nowhatta, considered to be the bastion of Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, groups of youth assembled at the Main Chowk and burst firecrackers to celebrate Indian team’s defeat at the hands of Australia. The sound of fire crackers and exchange of sweets and candies amidst sloganeering marked the jubilation that brought old city to life.
“Many people presumed that an encounter has broken out when we heard the sound of firecrackers in Nowhatta chowk. It was only when we went close that we saw young boys celebrating Indian team’s defeat. The boys were having fun,” Asiya, a government teacher, told Kashmir Reader.
Earlier in Maisuma, youth burst firecrackers everytime an Indian player fell to the furious Australian bowlers. This continued till the last Indian wicket fell around 5:10 pm.
“It was interesting to see young boys shouting anti-India slogans and bursting huge firecrackers to express their joy. We had an entertaining day today,” Yasir Ahmad, a trader told Kashmir Reader.
Reports of celebrations were also received from Baramulla and Anantnag districts of north and south Kashmir.
While the youth burst firecrackers in Main Town Baramulla to celebrate the defeat of Indian cricket team, young boys in the neighborhood Sopore town mocked at the CRPF troopers and pelted them with rocks and stones. The forces, witnesses said, burst teargas canisters to disperse the youth.
“The outbreak of clashes prompted the traders to down their shutters and run towards the safer places. The two sides clashed for several hours,” Arif Rasool a witness said.
Celebrations were also held in Palhalan, Sangrama, Patten, Sheeri, Rohama, Dangiwacha, besides the world famous tourist resort of Gulmarg after the Indian team tasted defeat.
Celebrations were also held in virtual world as the users on the popular social networking websites Facebook and Twitter exchanged greetings and posts and made mockery of team India’s slogan “We won’t give it back”
The love for Pakistan cricket team has often landed Kashmiri students pursuing higher studies in professional colleges and universities in India, in soup. Last year only, a series of attacks were carried out against Kashmri students in
On March, 2 last year, 63 Kashmiri students were suspended by Meerut’s Swami Vivekanand Subharti University (SVSU) for cheering Pakistan victory over India in the Asia Cup match. Three weeks later, at least twelve Kashmir students sustained injuries after being allegedly thrashed by the local students in Meewar, Rajasthan over India and Pakistan cricket match in the T20 World Cup.
In August same year, 10 Kashmiri students were attacked and injured by the local students for watching a Pakistan-Sri Lanka cricket match in Swami Parmanand College, Mohali Punjab. Kashmiri students were also attacked in Haryana.
The emotional attachment of Kashmiris to the Pakistan cricket team has also led to tragic incidents in the past.
On April, 22, 1994, Imtiyaz Ahmad, in his thirties was allegedly shot dead by troopers outside his house in Fateh Kadal area of downtown after Pakistan lifted the Australasia Cup defeating arch rivals India by a score of 39 runs. The troopers were reportedly angry over Indian team’s defeat in Sharjah when they shot Imtiyaz, an employee of Kashmir University, twice sparking off protests in the area.
—–With inputs from Mushtaq Ahmed from Baramulla.