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PoK national anthem played as players lineup before a match in Kashmir

It has been alleged that the posters of slain militants were put up around the ground and the post-match awards were also named after some of them.

These days every now and then various leaked video clips have been going viral on the social networking sites. Cricket, too, has not been left untouched by it. Recently a video clip which shows Pakistan-occupied Kashmir’s (PoK) anthem being played at the start of a game of cricket in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Sunday has surfaced. The opening ceremony of the match, which was the also the final of a cricket tournament, was streamed live on Facebook.

What’s the issue?

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It shows members of two local Kashmiri teams Shining Star Pampore and Pulwama Tigers standing upright while Azad Kashmir is played. Both the sides are seen wearing blue jerseys. The Pulwama stadium where the game was played is adjacent to the Degree College Pulwama, which has been a prime location of the ongoing student protests in the valley. The venue is also near to Karimabad village, a militant mainstay in Pulwama district.

As soon as the video went viral on the social media police took note of it and started an investigation. It has been alleged that the posters of slain militants were put up around the ground and the post-match awards were also named after some of them.

“We also got the clip from social media. We are investigating whether the incident really took place or was the anthem dubbed later,” Pulwama superintendent of police Mohammad Aslam said.

However, this is not the first time that an incident like this in Kashmir has made the news. The issue pops up almost one-and-a-half-months after two local cricket teams played Pakistan’s national anthem before starting a match in central Kashmir’s Kangan district. Some of the members of the teams were also seen sporting Pakistan cricket team jerseys. The video clip of this incident was posted online which made the police come into action and players from both the teams were soon arrested.

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