Four Kashmiri cricketers arrested for respecting Pakistani national anthem

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A similar controversy had erupted in April 2017 when the Pakistani national anthem was played during a cricket match in Ganderbal, Jammu and Kashmir.

A video of the cricketers standing in attention as the Pakistani national anthem played in the background at the Government Higher Secondary School became viral on social media networking sites and was also circulated widely via WhatsApp in north Kashmir.

Police in India-held Kashmir on Sunday arrested four cricketers for playing the Pakistani national anthem before the start of a cricket match in Bandipora district, Times of India reported. The players can be seen standing with their heads bowed as the Pakistan national anthem plays in the background over loudspeakers. The incident took place on January 3.

"The anthem was played live on Facebook and it went viral then". While taking to Kashmir Wire, Gazanaffar, SHO Bandipora, said: "We have booked the teams under Section 13 of the Unlawful Activities Act with FIR number 4/2018". Even though the police confirmed the news of detaining the two teams, they kept shush on revealing who was arrested.

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"We have registered a case and are now investigating the incident", SSP Bandipora, Sheikh Zulfikar Azad said.

J&K police have already arrested four locals who were playing the match and initiated further investigation to identify the organisers and other players.

This is not the first time cricket matches have led to arrests in Kashmir.

The videos and photographs of youngsters wearing uniform of Pakistan cricket team and flaunting it on social media also went viral. The teams involved were MCC, Gondipora and Dardpora Cricket Club. However, the detained were soon let off following assurances from their parents.

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