Fans ejected from World Cup match after political protest

By ScoreLine Desk - July 10, 2019

*Manchester:* Several spectators were Tuesday handcuffed and ejected from
Old Trafford during the first World Cup semi-final between India and New
Zealand after mounting a political protest.

The fans were apparently Sikh separatists who wore T-shirts and held
banners demanding a referendum on an independent homeland to be carved out
of India.

“Ground security went into the stands and got the fans out of the stadium
without much resistance and handed them over to the police,” a policeman at
the ground told AFP on condition on anonymity.

“There were four Sikh guys who were wearing T-shirts with some political
message on them and it is not allowed.”

Police later confirmed two arrests were made, with both men released
without charge.

“Two males were arrested for a breach of the peace, both have subsequently
been released without charge,” the statement read.

The statement did not clarify whether the men arrested were Sikh.

Expatriate Sikh separatists, who want to create a homeland of Khalistan in
India’s northern Punjab state, have been holding rallies in England to
promote their cause.

The World Cup has witnessed other political protests during matches, with
the International Cricket Council distancing itself from all of them.

Banners reading “#Justice for Kashmir” and “India stop genocide & free
Kashmir” were flown over Headingley during India’s match with Sri Lanka on
Saturday.

It followed 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.

The game’s governing body has said: “We do not condone any sort of
political messages at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup.”

*@AFP*

By ScoreLine Desk

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