In occupied Kashmir, students of different private as well as government schools in Srinagar continued to celebrate Pakistan’s victory over India in the ICC Champions Trophy in England.
According to media sources, the students of different schools in Srinagar on Monday burst fire crackers to celebrate the victory of Pakistan cricket team.
After Pakistan’s Champions Trophy victory, nobody celebrated more passionately than the Kashmiris. In Srinagar, the air was filled with the sounds of firecrackers as victory processions went up and down the streets. A local journalist’s video of jubilant crowds was uploaded on Twitter by Pakistan’s Major General Asif Ghafoor, whose page identifies him as the official spokesman of the army. Thirteen hours after the post, it had received more than 13,000 likes and 6,000 retweets.
In some places, Indian forces used brute force on the people celebrating Pakistan’s win against India. Witnesses said that Indian forces smashed vehicles and in Fatehkadal and Sakidafar areas of Srinagar dispersed crowds by resorting to teargas shelling.
Witnesses said that the students of a private school at Lal Chowk, soon after the school was off, burst firecrackers at the bund and at other places. The students were seen praising the victory of Pakistan cricket team, witnesses said. They said that the students of other government schools including SP Higher Secondary School also burst firecrackers. Reports of similar celebrations by school going students were also received from northern and southern parts of Kashmir.
“If India lost to anybody Kashmir would have celebrated, but India losing against Pakistan doubles the celebrations,” said a student.
In South Kashmir, Pulwama and Tral saw victory marches that included anti-India slogans. The authorities closed the gates to the campus of National Institute of Technology, Srinagar that remained calm despite last year’s clashes following India’s loss to the West Indies during T20. Hurriyet leader, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq in an interview said, “Anti-India sentiment was so strong this time. It wasn’t like this even in the 1990s.” “It’s youth reacting to the way they are being portrayed. For some time now, the genuine, indigenous struggle of Kashmiris has been seen as Pakistan-sponsored; everything is thought to be Pakistani here. So it’s a way of the youth getting back at the government,” he said. Kashmiris have been rooting against India’s cricket team since at least 1983, when the West Indies beat India in the inaugural One Day International match in Srinagar. When India lost to Australia at the same stadium in 1986, the crowd again rooted against Indian team. A picture popular in the Valley was one of a spectator at the match in the Oval ground sporting a T-shirt that read “Winner takes Kashmir”. Some young people explained the euphoria as a reaction against the hyper nationalism on Indian TV channels and the popular narrative of hatred against the Kashmiris. “This is what people in India think of us,” said a young man in Srinagar. “So if we are bad, let’s be bad then.” People also celebrated Pakistan win throughout the night in other parts of northern Kashmir. Reports of people bursting fire crackers on roads and streets came from Rafiabad, Sopore, Baramulla, Uri, Sangrama, Pattan, Palhalan, Tangmarg, Kunzar, Handwara, Langate, Kupwara, Kralpora and Lolab. It is to mention here that Pakistan beat India in the Champions Trophy final at Oval in England by a huge margin of 180 runs on Sunday.