Indian-occupied Kashmir: Nine cricketers arrested for wearing jersey in memory of killed fighter

Amritpal Singh, senior superintendent of police (SSP), confirmed the arrest of nine men in the first information report number 206/2020.

The cricket ground where the match was played. (Photo: Special Arrangement)

Police in the Shopian district of Indian-occupied Kashmir has arrested nine members of a local cricket team for participating in a cricket tournament in memory of a fighter.

A case has been registered against the detainees under Section 13 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) at the Shopian Police Station, accusing them of “glorifying the militant.”

The tournament was reportedly organized by Syed Tajamul Imran, a student leader and social activist from Naazneen Pora in the Shopian District, in memory of his brother Syed Ruban.

Syed Ruban, a member of the Al-Badr militant group, was killed in a clash with security forces in January last year.

Syed Ruban kisses his brother Syed Tajamul Imran. Ruban was killed in a clash with Indian security forces in January last year.

Amritpal Singh, senior superintendent of police (SSP), confirmed the arrest of nine men in the first information report number 206/2020, under the UAPA in the district’s Keegam police station.

“They have glorified militancy in Tajamul’s brother’s name and have also spoken about militancy. They wore jerseys and also went to his graveyard. Nine people have been arrested under the UAPA,” Singh said.

Tajamul distributing jerseys in a playground in Naazneen, Shopian District, Indian-occupied Kashmir. (Photo: Special Arrangement)

The UAPA was amended last year to give the police more powers to book individuals under the provisions, which provides for imprisonment for up to seven years.

After distributing the jersey, on 6 August, Syed Tajamul had said, “In the memory of my martyr brother, Syed Ruban, I distributed around 70 cricket uniforms among the young talented and aspiring cricketers of the Shopian district to fulfill the dreams of my brother, as he was also a brilliant cricket player of the district.” 

He had also added that Kashmir’s youth must “understand the importance of remaining healthy and fit, and “the engagement of youth towards sports is highly commendable citing the growing drug addiction in the valley.”

Some photos of Syed Ruban.

Both Ruban’s killing and the further arrest of Tajamul has left their father, Mr. Hussain, in disarray. “You can say that I was only left with one kidney now,” he said. “Now, they took that also. It is all up to God now. He belongs to God, and God will take care of my son now.”

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