World Cup 2019: Pro-Khalistan Sikh Protesters Evicted from Old Trafford Stadium for Shouting Anti-India SlogansJuly 11, 2019 12:53
(Image source from: The Hans India)
A group of Sikh protesters raising pro-Khalistan and anti-India slogans were evicted from Old Trafford during Tuesday's ICC Cricket World Cup first semifinal.
The protesters were holding banners with political messages apparently demanding a referendum on creating an independent homeland of Khalistan in Punjab.
A number of similar incidents with political overtones were reported at various grounds in the current world cup matches. The International Cricket Council (ICC) has distanced itself on all occasions. “We can confirm a small group of fans was asked to leave Old Trafford during the first innings today for breaching the ticketing terms and conditions by undertaking a political protest," an ICC spokesperson told PTI.
“We do not condone any sort of political messages at the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup and initially asked the group to stop the protest so they could remain in the venue, when they refused they were asked to leave," the spokesperson added.
During India’s last stage match against Sri Lanka on Saturday, anti-India banners were unfurled from planes over the Headingley ground followed by an earlier incident when a banner reading "Justice for Balochistan' was flown over the same ground in Leeds during the game between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
In the wake of the unsavory incidents at Headingley, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), for the first semi-final ensured that air space above Old Trafford was made a 'No Fly Zone'.
"We work with venue security and local police forces around the country to prevent this type of protest occurring and will continue to do so," he further said.
There has been an earlier incident of Pro Khalistani slogans being raised during a Pakistan game.
By Sowmya Sangam