Srinagar: As India faces Pakistan in a highly charged cricket match in the United Kingdom on Sunday, slogans “in favour of freedom” of Jammu and Kashmir reverberated the streets of London.
The two rival teams are playing their first scheduled match of the Champions Trophy-2017 in Birmingham today. Pakistan has won the toss but it asked Indian side to bat first.
As people were on their way to the cricket stadium in Birmingham, hundreds of Non-resident Kashmiris (NRKs) lined up and raised slogans “in favour of right to self determination for the people of united Jammu and Kashmir”.
Holding flags of Pakistan and Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK), the NRKs continuously raised slogans: “Go India Go”.
Whenever Indian and Pakistani teams are face to face with each other in cricket, such scenes are witnessed and at times controversies erupt.
While streets in Kashmir wear a deserted look on such occasions, those studying or working outside J&K are found cheering, mostly, for the green team.
Recently in a huge controversy, in the government of India run National Institute of Technology (NIT) at Hazratbal following a cricket match during which students from Kashmir cheered for the players of West Indies, who were playing against Indian cricket team and won.
According to a protester who is present in the rally “Hum kya chahtay, Azaadi; Burhan Waali, Azaadi; Shuhda kay sadkay, Azaadi,” are the slogans raised by the NRKs on the streets of London which saw a deadly attack this morning resulting in death of ten people including three attackers.
The bill-boards held by the protesters asked the international community to break silence on the issue of Kashmir.
“Stop genocide in Kashmir; we want freedom; silence over killing of Kashmiris is a crime against humanity,” the bill-boards carried by the protestors read.
Interestingly, many people were seen carrying the flag of India, and were present inside the protesting groups.
Kashmir witnessed a massive anti-India uprising after the charismatic Hizb ul Mujahideen commander, Burhan Wani, was killed on July 08, 2016. Over a hundred civilians were killed in the armed forces’ action during the resulting protests which saw over fifteen thousand being injured and over ten thousand arrested.